Tsitsipas Extends Race Lead, Enters Year-End No. 1 Discussion
Stefanos Tsitsipas fell one point short of winning the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on Sunday. However, the Greek has extended his lead in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, which determines the eight players who will compete at the Nitto ATP Finals in Italy from 14-21 November.
The recent Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters champion now has a 350-point lead over Andrey Rublev, who is in second. Tsitsipas is 520 points ahead of third-placed Novak Djokovic, who won this year’s Australian Open. Only 710 points separate Tsitsipas and the fourth-placed man in the Race, reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev.
|1. Stefanos Tsitsipas||2,840|
|2. Andrey Rublev||2,490|
|3. Novak Djokovic||2,320|
|4. Daniil Medvedev||2,130|
|5. Aslan Karatsev||1,505|
|6. Hubert Hurkacz||1,440|
|7. Jannik Sinner||1,220|
|8. Rafael Nadal||1,040|
This is the first time since 2014 that a player outside the Big Three of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer has led the Race at this stage of the season. Seven years ago, Stan Wawrinka was in first, just ahead of Djokovic.
This year’s Race will determine who finishes atop the year-end FedEx ATP Rankings. Could Tsitsipas have a shot at year-end No. 1? It is not out of the question based on the 22-year-old’s form.
Tsitsipas, the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion, is now 26-6 in 2021 and he has shown an impressive level of consistency, reaching at least the quarter-finals in all seven tournaments he has played. He also won both his matches as Greece’s No. 1 singles player at the ATP Cup, and four of his six defeats have come at the hands of Top 10 opponents.
The @FedEx ATP Race To Turin is on:— ATP Tour (@atptour) April 29, 2021
8) 🇪🇸 @RafaelNadal
7) 🇮🇹 @janniksin
6) 🇵🇱 @HubertHurkacz
5) 🇷🇺 @AsKaratsev
4) 🇷🇺 @DaniilMedwed
3) 🇷🇸 @DjokerNole
2) 🇷🇺 @AndreyRublev97
1) 🇬🇷 @steftsitsipas pic.twitter.com/l63YZrdcwY
But Tsitsipas is not the only rising star in the mix for year-end No. 1. Russians Rublev and Medvedev, who led their country to ATP Cup glory at the start of the season, are in second and fourth, respectively. Medvedev lifted the trophy in London last year and Rublev made his season finale debut. Rublev and Tsitsipas both have a 26-6 record to lead the ATP Tour this year.
Between those three and six-time year-end No. 1 Djokovic, the race for top spot is heating up, and another man might join the fray shortly to make the battle even hotter.
By winning his 12th Barcelona title on Sunday, Nadal has climbed 10 spots into eighth. The Spaniard is attempting to qualify for the season finale for the 17th consecutive year. With two clay-court ATP Masters 1000 events and Roland Garros coming up, the lefty will try to make it a five-way duel for year-end No. 1.
Breakthrough star Aslan Karatsev is currently fifth in the Race following his run to the final of the Serbia Open in Belgrade, where he upset Djokovic. Two years ago, the Russian finished in 271st place in the Race.
Did You Know?
While the 2021 Year-End FedEx ATP Rankings will continue to potentially include some results from 2020 in a player’s rankings breakdown under the 24-month rankings system due to COVID-19, the 2021 Year-End No. 1 will be based off 2021 results alone (i.e., the FedEx ATP Race To Turin) and will continue until the end of the Nitto ATP Finals. This will ensure that the No. 1 accolade accurately reflects the world’s best performer of the 2021 calendar season.