Two singles spots remain at the Nitto ATP Finals, with a four-way battle at this week’s Rolex Paris Masters deciding who among Felix Auger-Aliassime, Andrey Rublev, Taylor Fritz and Hubert Hurkacz will earn a place in Turin.
Auger-Aliassime and Rublev are in pole position to qualify for the season finale, which will take place from 13-20 November. But Fritz and Hurkacz, who are in eighth and ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, still have an opportunity to flip the script.
Fritz and Hurkacz need to make at least the final to have a chance to earn their spot in Turin. But since Fritz could play Auger-Aliassime in the third round and Hurkacz could face Rublev, they have an opportunity to eliminate the contenders ahead of them in the Live Race.
Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin (as of 31 October)
Nobody is in better form than sixth-placed Auger-Aliassime, who has won titles in Florence, Antwerp and Basel over the past three weeks. Prior to his 13-match winning streak, the Canadian had won only one title in his career, which came earlier this season in Rotterdam. He has 3,635 points in the Live Race, putting him 725 points clear of eighth-placed Fritz.
The only way Auger-Aliassime will not debut at the year-end championships, even if he loses his opening match in Paris, is if Fritz wins the title and defeats Rublev in the semi-finals.
It is a more complicated situation for Rublev, since he is in the final qualifying spot. If Fritz lifts the title, Rublev must advance to the semi-finals, where he would face the American.
If Hurkacz lifts the trophy, Rublev would not be able to move past the third round as they would clash in that round. That would eliminate the two-time qualifier Rublev from contention if Hurkacz continued on to take the title.
The two players who earn qualification will join Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev in the field.
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