With Novak Djokovic wrapping up the No. 1 race with his second US Open title and little drama in the Race to London – Top 7 including Rafael Nadal appear to already be booked – there’s not much to play for down the stretch this season so motivation might be an issue for some, but I still expect the top guys to give it their best shot to finish strong.
So here’s a short guide of where some of the favorites will be as the tour winds through Asia these next few weeks then over to Europe for the finish.
Novak Djokovic (4): Oct 5 – Beijing, Oct 12 – Shanghai, Nov 2 – Paris, Nov 15 – London
Roger Federer (4): Oct 12 – Shanghai, Oct 26 – Basel, Nov 2 – Paris, Nov 15 – London
Andy Murray (3): Oct 12 – Shanghai, Nov 2 – Paris, Nov 15 – London
Rafael Nadal (5): Oct 5 – Beijing, Oct 12 – Shanghai, Oct 26 – Basel, Nov 2 – Paris, Nov 15 – London
Stan Wawrinka (5): Oct 5 – Tokyo, Oct 12 – Shanghai, Oct 26 – Basel, Nov 2 – Paris, Nov 15 – London
Kei Nishikori (5): Oct 5 – Tokyo, Oct 12 – Shanghai, Oct 26 – Basel, Nov 2 – Paris, Nov 15 – London
Sept 28 (Kuala Lumpur, Shenzhen)
Kuala Lumpur – Ferrer, Lopez
Shenzhen – Berdych, Cilic
Oct 5 (Beijing, Tokyo)
Beijing (500) – Djokovic, Berdych, Ferrer, Nadal, Raonic, Isner, Tsonga
Tokyo (500) – Nishikori, Wawrinka, Cilic, Simon, Gasquet, Anderson, Dimitrov
Oct 12 (Shanghai)
Shanghai (1000) – Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Murray, Wawrinka (all top players)
Oct 19 (Stockholm, Moscow, Vienna)
Stockholm (250) – Gasquet, Simon, Dimitrov
Vienna (500) – Ferrer, Raonic, Isner, Anderson
Moscow (250) – Cilic, Coric, Troicki
Oct 26 (Basel, Valencia)
Basel (500) – Federer, Nadal, Wawrinka, Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov
Valencia (250) – Ferrer, Lopez, Verdasco
Nov 2 (Paris)
Paris (1000) – Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Murray, Wawrinka (all top players)
Nov 15 (London)
ATP Finals (1500) – Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Warwinka have all clinched berths
Nov 27 (Belgium)
GBR at BEL – Murray
Notably, Andy Murray has scaled back his schedule, playing just the two Masters events and possibly the Finals (I think he’ll play), with an eye on keeping in form for the Davis Cup final at the end of November.
Maybe looking to leapfrog Murray for the No. 2 ranking, Roger Federer is currently scheduled to play in Paris for a third straight year. Rafael Nadal will go all out playing five events after being beset by injury last fall.
Djokovic has the top spot, but I’m sure he’d like to resume his Masters domination after missing out on Canada and Cincinnati over the summer. And there’s a good fight for the No. 5 ranking position among Berdych, Nishikori and Nadal.
And I’m interested in seeing how the youngsters finish up. Borna Coric, Alex Zverev, Hyeon Chung, Andrey Rublev, Thanasi Kokkinakis have all had great seasons to date, now how much juice do they have left in their young tanks?
Turning to the ATP Race for London, as I said it looks like the field is playing for one spot.
1 Novak Djokovic 12785
2 Andy Murray 7510
3 Roger Federer 6740
4 Stan Wawrinka 5505
5 Tomas Berdych 3850
6 Kei Nishikori 3770
7 Rafael Nadal 3715
8 David Ferrer 3005
9 Richard Gasquet 2355
10 Kevin Anderson 2205
11 John Isner 2180
12 Milos Raonic 2080
13 Marin Cilic 1965
14 Gilles Simon 1920
15 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 1900
16 David Goffin 1625
With their lead and schedules, Berdych, Nishikori and Nadal all appear to be well-position to qualify for the final eight – someone like Gasquet would have to win Paris and Tokyo to have any chance of catching them!
So we are looking at that last spot falling to Ferrer, Gasquet, Anderson, Isner, Raonic, etc. That said, guys like Anderson, Isner, Raonic, Cilic and Tsonga are all excellent indoor, fast court players, so one or two could make a big run the final few weeks and shake things up. That means Ferrer could get picked off, but even he has a substantial lead at the moment.
What’s nice is this year it seems most of the guys are healthy heading into the last few months…Healthy for now.
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