Fritz & Hurkacz Aiming To Make Moves As Turin Battle Heats Up
With 500 points on offer this week at ATP Tour events in Astana and Tokyo, the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin continues to gather pace as players vie for the four remaining available spots at the 2022 Nitto ATP Finals.
Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz, Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas have all qualified for the prestigious end-of-year event, with Daniil Medvedev well placed in fifth. However, below the battle is tight.
Hubert Hurkacz (2635 points) and Taylor Fritz (2385) sit in ninth and 10th place, respectively, and will be aiming for deep runs to break into the Top eight. Hurkacz, who qualified for Turin last year, is competing at the Astana Open, where he will face Francisco Cerundolo in the first round.
The Pole is currently 65 points behind eighth-placed Alexander Zverev (2700), who hasn’t played since Roland Garros due to injury, while he trails seventh-placed Felix Auger-Alassime (2860) by 125 points. Andrey Rublev is sat on 3055 points in sixth and, like Auger-Aliassime, will take to court in Astana. Depending on results, Hurkacz could overtake all three with a strong run on debut in Kazakhstan.
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Elsewhere, Fritz will play at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, where he starts the week on 2385 points. The American, who lifted the trophy in Indian Wells in March, will need to win the title at the ATP 500 event in Tokyo to have any chance of overtaking Auger-Aliassime.
Fresh off his title run in Tel Aviv, Novak Djokovic will be in action in Astana. If 15th-placed Djokovic, this year's Wimbledon champion, stays within the Top 20 in the Race as expected, he will qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals and then that will put the qualification cut at seventh this year, not eighth. The Serbian has triumphed at the end-of-year event five times.