Who can make it to the ATP World Tour finals and how

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The battle for a place at the ATP Finals, to be held in London from 12-19 November, comes down to the Paris Masters this week. While six slots have already been filled, there are currently seven players participating, who stand a chance to secure the two available berths at the season-ending finals.

From Belgium’s David Goffin to Frenchman Lucas Pouille, who secured his biggest crown of his career on Sunday at the Erste Bank Open 500 to rise eight positions to No. 16 in the ATP Race To London rankings, have a realistic chance to fill the remaining two spots in the finals.

 © SportsCafe

David Goffin:

The odds are stacked firmly in the favour of Goffin, who secured two ATP World Tour titles in 2017 and he could clinch the seventh spot in the eight-player competition by reaching the Paris Masters semi-finals. The Belgian, currently, has 2885 points to his name and is placed just below the sixth-ranked Grigor Dimitrov and seventh-ranked Stan Wawrinka on the table.  

 The odds are stacked firmly in the favour of Goffin © Getty 

At Paris, Goffin is slated to play Spain’s David Ferrer, who has a 2-0 head-to-head record over him in the ATP tour matches, in the round of 32 clash and will look forward to winning his first match against the Spaniard. If he manages to win that match, in all likelihood, the Frenchman will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who on Sunday, lost to Lucas Pouille 6-1, 6-4 in an all-French final at the Erste Bank Open. If the latter part of the draw doesn’t see any major upset, then Marin Cilic will be the biggest hurdle on the road for Goffin in the quarter-finals – the match which will decide Goffin’s fortune to make his debut in London. If Cilic gets the better of the Belgian star in the quarters, Goffin can still make it to the tour finals, with 3065 points, if Pablo Carreno Busta, Kevin Anderson, and Juan Martin del Potro faltered in their earlier rounds.   

Pablo Carreño Busta and Sam Querrey:

Pablo Carreno Busta, who currently occupies the last London spot, faces French wild card Nicolas Mahut in his second-round match whom he had defeated en route to the US Open semi-finals this year that helped him enter the Top 8 of the ATP Race to London rankings. But, for him, the biggest hurdle will come in the form of Sam Querry, who he is scheduled to face in the Quarter-finals. The meeting seems almost certain as in the second-round action, Querrey meets Serbian qualifier Filip Krajinovic, the World No.77, over whom the current World No. 13 has a 100% winning record. But if surprisingly, Querrey wins and Carreno Busta loses on Tuesday, they will be tied with 2,615 points, which will give Querry a chance to make progress to the finals. But for any of them to qualify for the Tour Finals directly, they will have to win the title in Paris anyway, which ruled out the chances that both will qualify for the season-ending event. One of the duo can also stand a chance qualify for London by reaching the quarters if both Juan Martin del Potro and Kevin Anderson faltered before that stage as that will leave their competitors lesser number of points than them.

Kevin Anderson stands a chance to qualify © Getty

Kevin Anderson:

Anderson got a bye in the opening round and now opens against the winner of the match between Fernando Verdasco and Andrey Rublev in the round of 32 match. He, though, has been placed in the same quarter as Dominic Theim who may not allow him to move further in the tournament. The South African, who has the knack of taking any big players on his day, will have to win the title to guarantee qualification for the tournament. Even if Anderson can only manage to reach the semi-finals, it will give him a total of 2830 points, and although that will give him a very little chance to qualify, some unflattering displays by del Potro, Querry, Tsonga and Busta in the round of 32 will give him a chance to qualify. Again, that is subject is a collective failure, which, in all likelihood, seems unlikely. 

Juan Martin del Potro:

Juan Martin del Potro, who is at the No. 13 position in the ATP Race To London, maintained his fine run of form following his victory at the Stockholm Open by advancing to the Swiss Indoors Basel finals, in which Roger Federer beat him 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3 to clinch his seventh ATP World Tour title of the year. Del Potro would have jumped 10 points ahead of Pablo Carreno Busta with a Basel title, but despite the loss, he is still within 190 points of the Spaniard and can guarantee his year-end final berth by winning the title at the Paris Masters. The Argentine begins his Paris campaign against Paolo Lorenzi or qualifier Joao Sousa and is slated to play Alexander Zverev in the Quarter-finals. If he manages to beat Zverev in the Quarters, he is supposed to take on Grigor Dimitrov. Although the stiff competition awaits the eighth-seeded star in the latter phases of the event, with the form that he is in, he has a realistic chance of winning the title and qualifying for the season finale. The conditions for Anderson also holds true for the Argentine as if he manages to falter at the QF stage, he will have to hope that neither of his competitors reaches as far.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga:

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was not even considered as a contender for the finals a couple of weeks back, has turned the table upside down and now stands a chance to secure a place to play his third ATP Finals. The Frenchman lost to his countryman Lucas Pouille in straight sets in the finals of the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna, but now has 2,310 points and needs to win the title to gain an entry to the tournament. But the path for him will not be easy at all as he will face David Goffin in the Round of 16 and is slated to face Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic in the semi-finals. So, it seems unlikely that Tsonga will be able to do it, considering his inconsistent form.  

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