Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals during the US Open. But with two months to go until the season-ending event at the Pala Alpitour, the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin is heating up. Previous qualifiers Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev are well placed in third through fifth places, respectively.
But below them, the battle is near. Felix Auger-Aliassime is currently in seventh place as he tries to win his place in the year-end championship for the first time. The Canadian missed the opportunity to earn a cushion of points during the US Open, where he lost in the second round to Jack Draper.
But with 2,860 points, the 22-year-old is 160 points ahead of eighth-ranked Alexander Zverev, a two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion who has not competed since the US Open due to injury. Auger-Aliassime is just 190 points behind sixth-placed Andrey Rublev, who is attempting to qualify for the third year in a row.
Rublev advanced to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows. If 15th-ranked Novak Djokovic, this year’s Wimbledon champion, stays inside the Top 20 in the Race as expected, that will put him in seventh place this year, not eighth.
There are five ATP 250 events two weeks later this month, when players can make their moves to get closer to qualifying or secure their position. The next big opportunity for the stars of the ATP Tour to make a big leap will be the week of October 3, during which there will be ATP 500 events in Nur-Sultan and Tokyo.
Alcaraz def. Casper Ruud in the US Open final
Special advisor to the newspaper L’Équipe during the fortnight of the US Open, Mats Wilander tried to dissect what makes Carlos Alcaraz such a special player.
And according to the Swede, the 19-year-old Spaniard is a combination of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. “Carlos is the product of Roger (Federer), Rafa (Nadal) and Novak (Djokovic). He grew up watching them on television. He takes from Rafa the passion and love for competition.
His artistic side is taken from Roger, the drops, the serve and the volley, etc. And he takes from Novak his flexibility and quality of movement from him. I’m not sure he moves better than Novak, but he’s faster. Despite everything, his passion is different from Rafa’s: he fights with a smile.
We have never seen that! Perhaps with Gustavo Kuerten, but differently… Try more redemptions than any great player has ever tried. In truth, it is a product of a sport that belongs to Roger, Rafa and Novak. I thought Stefanos Tsitsipas could be that product. Carlos Alcaraz took it even further.»