Medvedev & Goffin Surge In ATP Race To London
Champion Daniil Medvedev and finalist David Goffin met in the championship match of the Western & Southern Open on Sunday. And although the Russian was the only one able to leave Cincinnati with a winner’s trophy, both players boosted their hopes of securing a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals in London.
This time one year ago, Medvedev was placed 38th in the ATP Race To London, far from contention for the eight-man event held at The O2 from 10-17 November. But the Russian has put himself in prime position to book his maiden trip this season, moving into fifth place thanks to the 1,000 points he earned with the title.
Medvedev now has an ATP Tour-leading 44 wins in 2019, which has helped his rise. The only players he trails are Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem. Medvedev is trying to become the first Russian singles player to compete at the season finale since Nikolay Davydenko won the event in 2009.
The Cincinnati trophy was the culmination of a strong month for the Russian No. 1, who made the final in Washington and Montreal in the two weeks before arriving in Ohio.
“I have to say even if I wouldn't have finished with the trophy, [these weeks] were amazing and the best in my life. But of course I think with the trophy it’s better. Especially if I would have lost three finals in a row, I would have not doubted myself but started asking myself, ‘How is it possible, three finals, lost all of them? What should I do differently in the final’?” Medvedev said. “I don't have to ask myself these questions because I won the final. It's been the best weeks in my life.”
And while Medvedev has been a strong contender throughout the year, Goffin’s performance brought him within striking range to compete at The O2 for the third time. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up surges from 18th place in the Race to 11th, just 190 points behind eighth-placed Kei Nishikori.
Entering Wimbledon, Goffin was not inside the Top 20 in the Race. But advancing to the quarter-finals at The Championships and becoming the first Belgian singles player to make an ATP Masters 1000 final have helped his cause.
Another player whose Cincinnati efforts were crucial in the push for a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals was Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. The 31-year-old has previously served as an alternate for the season finale, but he has moved into seventh place in the Race, 250 points ahead of Nishikori.
Bautista Agut advanced to the quarter-finals, where he fell to in-form Frenchman Richard Gasquet in three sets. It was the second consecutive Masters 1000 event in which Bautista Agut made the last eight.
By making the semi-finals, top seed Novak Djokovic clawed closer to Rafael Nadal in the battle for the year-end No. 1 ATP Ranking. With 360 points from Cincinnati, Djokovic now trails Nadal by only 140 points in the ATP Race To London. Both players have already secured their spots in London in November.