Scouting Report: Finals Berths On The Line In Paris
An executive summary of what every fan should know about the coming week on the ATP World Tour
10 THINGS TO WATCH IN PARIS
2. One for One: Rafael Nadal will clinch year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings with one win in Paris or London. The Spaniard is seeking his fourth finish as World No. 1 and a record 31st ATP Masters 1000 title. While Nadal is a 10-time Roland Garros champion, he has never won Paris’s other tour-level event. His only run to the Rolex Paris Masters final came in his debut 10 years ago.
3. Four No More: The ‘Big Four’ of Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic has won 84 per cent of all ATP Masters 1000 events since 2005 (97 of 116). However, Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov broke through earlier this season for the biggest titles of their respective careers. Zverev won ATP Masters 1000 titles in Rome and Montreal before Dimitrov reigned in Cincinnati.
4. Paris to London: Joining Nadal, Zverev and Dimitrov at the Rolex Paris Masters and Nitto ATP Finals are Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem. Cilic has reached semi-finals this autumn in Tokyo, Shanghai and Basel, but Thiem has never advanced to a semi-final after September.
5. Flights on Hold: David Goffin and Pablo Carreno Busta are next in line to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals. Since the US Open, Goffin is 16-4 and Carreno Busta is 1-4. Both men are attempting to qualify for their first year-end championships, though Goffin played as an alternate last year.
6. Last Chances: Carreno Busta isn’t the only contender struggling down the stretch. Kevin Anderson is 3-4 since playing in the US Open final, while Sam Querrey is 2-3 this autumn. Carreno Busta leads Querrey by 80 points and Anderson by 135 in the Emirates ATP Race to London.
7. Making His Move: Juan Martin del Potro has risen from No. 47 to No. 13 in the Emirates ATP Race to London since the US Open. Del Potro, a four-time qualifier at the Nitto ATP Finals, controls his own destiny. If he wins his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Paris, he will return to London.
8. French Hopes: Among the other Nitto ATP Finals contenders are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille, two of 10 Frenchmen in the Paris field. Tsonga must reach the Paris semi-finals to give himself a shot at qualifying, while Pouille must advance to his first ATP Masters 1000 final. Pouille defeated Tsonga in Vienna on Sunday for the biggest title of his career and 500 race points.
9. Doubles Update: Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers won the Basel title on Sunday to earn 500 race points. They can clinch the last available doubles spot at the Nitto ATP Finals by reaching the Paris final, among other scenarios. Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram, the 2016 Nitto ATP Finals runners-up, trail Dodig and Granollers by 470 points in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race to London.
10. Milan in Sight: The Rolex Paris Masters features five men bound for the Next Gen ATP Finals: Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov, Borna Coric and Hyeon Chung. They will be joined in Milan on November 7-11 by Jared Donaldson, Daniil Medvedev and a wild card.