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Race to London - What The Finals Contenders Need To Do in Paris

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 11:55 PM

The 2011 ATP World Tour Finals will be played at the O2 Arena in London


What The Finals Contenders Need To Do

by ATP Staff | 04.11.2011

Three places remain up for grabs in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals eight-man field going into the final tournament of the regular ATP World Tour season, the BNP Paribas Masters, which commences on Monday in Paris.

As it stands, Czech Tomas Berdych, France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and American Mardy Fish hold down the remaining spots at Nos. 6-8 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings and as such, any showing that is equal to or better than their rivals next week will see them make the trip to London.

Juan Martin del Potro is still in contention at this week’s Valencia Open 500 and, should he win the title, he would move to No. 9 in the battle for London. In that case, the Argentine would have the chance to snatch one of the remaining berths with a semi-final showing in Paris. If he should lose in the semi-finals or final this weekend, he would need to reach the final of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 indoor event to be in contention to qualify.

Seeded 12th, del Potro has a tough opener in Paris against either Stanislas Wawrinka or John Isner. Should he advance, he is seeded to meet fellow Finals contender Gael Monfils, the No. 8 seed, in the third round. Monfils, a two-time runner-up at the Palais Omnisports, was beaten in quarter-final action Friday in Valencia and must therefore win the title in his hometown to stand a chance of qualifying.

Nicolas Almagro missed the chance to make up ground in the battle for London this week as he was upset in the first round in Valencia. If the Spaniard is to have a shot at qualifying for the first time, he must reach the final in Paris, but could come across Tsonga in a must-win third-round clash.

Janko Tipsarevic has produced the form of his career this autumn to give himself a shot at qualifying for the season finale, winning his first two ATP World Tour titles in Kuala Lumpur and Moscow, and reaching the St. Petersburg Open final. However, the Serbian was forced to retire in the first round in Basel this week, meaning he must reach the final in Paris to keep his bid alive. The 27 year old, whose best showing at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event is reaching the semi-finals in Montreal this summer, is slated to meet Berdych in a key third-round clash.

Gilles Simon still has an outside chance of qualifying, but will need to draw on all the support of his home crowd as he must win the title at Paris-Bercy, an event where he has never advanced past the round of 16. The Frenchman is expected to clash with Fish in the third round.



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