Berrettini, Monfils Boost London Positions
Italy's Matteo Berrettini tightened his grip on one of two remaining Nitto ATP Finals qualifying spots on Wednesday at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. The Italian edged Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(5), 7-6(1) to make the third round of the ATP 500 and add 45 points to his ATP Race To London tally.
Berrettini, who's in eighth place in the Race, now has 2,570 points, 85 points ahead of ninth-placed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain (2,485 points). The top eight on 4 November will qualify for the season finale, to be held 10-17 November at The O2 in London.
Berrettini hit 36 winners, including 20 from his forehand wing, to hold off Dimitrov, who beat Roger Federer en route to the US Open semi-finals last month. The 23-year-old Italian will next meet the winner of South Korean Hyeon Chung and Andrey Rublev of Russia, a rematch of the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals title match, which Chung won.
Gael Monfils will get his rematch with #NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner. The Frenchman, who's in contention for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, rallied to beat Austrian wild card Dennis Novak 2-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Monfils hit 13 aces and converted all three break points. He will next face the 18-year-old Sinner, who continued his impressive run by beating German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber on Tuesday. Sinner beat Monfils last week en route to the semi-finals of the European Open in Antwerp (l. to Wawrinka). The Italian became the youngest ATP Tour semi-finalist since Borna Coric at the 2014 Swiss Indoors Basel.
Monfils added 45 points to his ATP Race To London tally with the first-round win and moved into 12th place in the Race, passing Japan's Kei Nishikori. Monfils, with 2,215 points, trails Berrettini by 355 points.
In the final match of the day, Russian Karen Khachanov advanced 6-3, 4-6, 4-1 when Hungarian Marton Fucsovics retired. The second-seeded Russian will meet the winner of American Sam Querrey and Diego Schwartzman of Argentina in the quarter-finals.