The 2020 ATP season has been significantly shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there were concerns about the ATP Finals in London after another surge in cases has led to a new lockdown in England.
But it appears as if the season-ending tournament, which is scheduled to start on Nov. 15, is expected to push through as planned.
The ATP Finals field, which features the top eight players in the world, is almost set, with just one more place up for grabs. Meanwhile, the Paris Masters is underway as Rafael Nadal continues on his quest to claim the rare title that has eluded him in his storied career.
Read on below for the all the latest ATP 2020 news as the season-ending ATP Finals draws ever nearer.
ATP Finals planning to push through
The 2020 Nitto ATP Finals is expected to push through as planned despite England going back into lockdown for the next four weeks.
The finals, which features the top eight men’s singles players and doubles teams, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and will be held at the O2 in London from Nov. 15-22. This will be the last time London hosts the tournament before it moves to Turin, Italy for the next five years.
“We will continue to work with all relevant authorities, both at a national and local level, to ensure that all necessary measures are put in place to ensure the safety of all those involved in the tournament,” the ATP said in a statement.
The ATP 2020 betting odds will have top seeds Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal as the favourites to win the season-ending tournament.
Meanwhile, defending ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas will also face stiff competition from reigning US Open champ Dominic Thiem, as well as Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev.
Andrey Rublev seals first-ever ATP Finals place
Andrey Rublev will join those top six players in London as he sealed qualification to the season-ending tournament by winning the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, Austria.
The 23-year-old Russian beat Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 6-4 in the final to claim his ATP Tour-leading fifth title of the season. Rublev now has 39 match wins in 2020, tied for the most this year with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
“This tournament is really special for me because my grandma was also Austrian, so I have Austrian blood,” Rublev said during the trophy ceremony. “It’s a really special title for me.”
Rublev becomes the seventh player to clinch a spot in the Nitto ATP Finals, with just one spot left up for grabs. He’s also just the fifth Russian to qualify in the 50-year history of the tournament.
“Of course, it’s an amazing feeling. [I’m excited] to play the last year in London, to see the stage and to feel this atmosphere,” Rublev said. “It’s an amazing feeling to play there in the last year [at The O2], so I will do my best there and we’ll see. It’s going to be a great experience for me to see what I need to improve to be able to compete with the top eight players. I’m looking forward to it.”
Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and Italy’s Matteo Berrettini are still in contention for that final place, and both are currently in action in the Paris Masters.
Cilic, Coric reach Paris Masters second round
Croatians Marin Cilic and Borna Coric were the notable winners in the first half of first-round matches in the Paris Masters.
Cilic caused a major upset by beating talented Canadian youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-0, 3-6, 6-3. Meanwhile, No. 15 seed Coric beat qualifier Marton Fucsovics 7-6 (5), 6-1 on Monday.
Coric, who recently reached the final at the St. Petersburg Open, had his service game on point. He won 35 of his 48 first-serve points to beat the Hungarian in just under two hours.
“It was not an easy match, and every time we have played it’s been very tough,” Coric said. “I played one bad game at 2-1 in the first set, when I missed two first serves, but pretty much the rest of the time I was serving huge.”
Cilic will next face French wild-card Corentin Moutet in the second round, while Coric will meet Australian Jordan Thompson.
The winner of that Coric-Thompson match will likely go on to face top seed Rafael Nadal, who will meet compatriot Feliciano Lopez in the second round.
Nadal is still searching for the first Paris Masters title of his illustrious career. The Spaniard’s best finish in the tournament was in 2007, when he lost to David Nalbandian in the final.
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