The race for London has not been as tight as this for some time.
Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, Medvedev and Thiem are in. Stefanos Tsitsipas’s qualification is all but confirmed.
The top eight qualify which leaves two spaces left.
A week in Shanghai should put a little daylight between some and there is still plenty of tennis to be played but it might come down the wire at the Paris Masters.
Who is in contention for final two spots?
Roberto Bautista Agut
He is in one of the lead positions right now. His season has dipped and retirement in Beijing hasn’t helped his cause.
Roberto has four wins and four defeats against top ten opponents this year and usually comes alive on the hard courts and I wouldn’t rule him out just yet.
Found form since Laver Cup and looks much happier.
His tennis has looked sharper and a good week in Beijing has set him in good stead. He is of course the defending champion in London and will be hoping to get there otherwise his ranking will take a big hit.
A problem for Zverev has been a lack of deep runs and big wins without a top 10 win yet this season.
The Belgian is the form player right now.
3 months ago he was 43 in the race and is now on the toes just outside the eight.
A finalist in 2017 of course, his season has had an under the radar turn around and he gave Djokovic a good game in their semi-final in Tokyo.
The Italian had an opportunity to try and build some daylight as well in Beijing.
Andy Murray proved too good for the Italian with the Brit peppering the backhand in what I described as naive performance from the US Open semi-finalist.
He is having his breakthrough year and it’s been one hell of a ride so far. He is in a good position but I think he will have to perform to a higher level to secure his place.
He missed Asia injured and will also miss Shanghai which all put calls of his chances.
Disappointing season for Kei who does have a top ten win and I don’t think has a top 15 ranked win this season. If results do go his way in Shanghai he could still qualify if those mentioned above lost early.
Gael Monfils & Fabio Fognini
Earlier on in the season they did look in a good position to potentially have a say but their seasons have fizzled out.
Monfils gave himself an opportunity with his run in New York but hasn’t done anything since. It is possible but I don’t see either finding some form to take over and cement a place in the top eight.
Defeat to Dominic Thiem has ruined his chance in my opinion. He could still get there with two Masters 1000 events to come, one of which he is defending in Paris.
Karen served for the match against Thiem and led 3-1 in the third set but lost… that win would have kept him in touch but is now 600+ points off the final spot.
Top 10 wins this year…
Who has beaten the best, the most?
Win/Loss record vs Top 10 in 2019 (inc. retirements)