The ATP race is on for the men

Novak Djokovic

As fall rolls on and we come to near the end of the tennis year, there will be some players want to go home. But there are also the intense competitors who want to grab a lot of match wins. For the wonderful player sho have already made it into the ATP Finals, or have previously gone deep, or won it, so they were thrilled to continue playing.

Coming up in November, there will be some huge tournaments. Yes, Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, and Andrey Rublev are already in, while Matteo Berrettini is likely to get in, too. Then, there also are Casper Ruud, Jannik Sinner [read my article on Tennis.com] and Hubert Hurkacz, just 110 points away rom qualifying. However, Hurkacz just lost in the first round in Vienna against Andy Murray, so he will have to push it hard in Paris next week.

Cameron Norrie is also close to getting into the ATP Finals, too. Whoever makes it, it will be a great draw.

Here is a funny story: When Norrie went to the restaurant in 2018 at Indian Wells, he saw Dominic Thiem and Juan Martin Del Potro together, eating the same meal day after day. The Brit — who hadn’t been very high in the singles, yet — Norrie was a bit startled. The same meal after practicing or playing, munching pasta.

 “I went the first night. They told me Dominic Thiem and Juan Martín del Potro won the tournament here and they ate here every night. So, I said I would come back if I win,” Norrie said. “I came back and had five or six nights in a row there. The same meal on match days. I mixed it up on the other days. I am usually never like that.”

Norrie won the 2021 Indian Wells, the first time he had won such a 1000 title. Finally he nailed it. “Maybe it did work this week,” he said. He sure did.

Stan Wawrinka, who has won three Grand Slams, is aging and he pulled out the rest of the year. Another two fantastic players, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, who are also hurt and have stopped in 2021.

So now it is up to Djokovic —if he actually plays at the ATP Finals, to carry the torch for the veterans. He has won it five timesMedvedev (who won it last year), Tsitsipas (also he won it in 2019), Zverev (who grabbed it in 2018).

But, the ATP Finals is a demanding assignment. Just ask about Thiem, who reached the final at the ATP Finals the last two times, and he was so close at the end of the third set. But he couldn’t do it. As he said, “I just not good enough.”

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