Ruud, Shapovalov Lead Milan Hopefuls As Race Hits Final Two Weeks
The ATP Race To Milan is coming down to the wire. With two weeks remaining in the Race, which ends 28 October, seven spots are still up for grabs for the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 5-9 November at the Allianz Cloud in Milan.
Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime joined defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas last week as qualifiers for the 21-and-under event. Greece's Tsitsipas, however, will not compete in Milan because he has qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 10-17 November in London.
That means six direct qualification spots still remain for Milan as the final spot is reserved for an Italian wild card.
Aussie Alex de Minaur (1,430 points), Canadian Denis Shapovalov (1,255 points) and American Frances Tiafoe (970 points), in third through fifth place, respectively, are next in line to qualify for the award-winning event. De Minaur is taking this week off, but Shapovalov is the fourth seed at the Intrum Stockholm Open and opens with a bye. At the European Open in Antwerp, Tiafoe will meet German qualifier Yannick Maden in the first round.
Norway's Casper Ruud (sixth place, 931 points) will try to bolster his standing in Stockholm as well. The 20-year-old, competing for the first time since last month in Zhuhai, is looking to make his Milan debut. He opens against Serbian Filip Krajinovic.
In seventh place, Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic (893 points) will try to make his second ATP Tour final (Antalya) at the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow. The eighth-seeded Kecmanovic faces Russian qualifier Artem Dubrivnyy in the first round.
Eighth-placed Ugo Humbert (778 points) will look to continue his strong play indoors this week in Antwerp. Humbert made the Moselle Open semi-finals in Metz in February (l. to Kukushkin).
The surging Swede Mikael Ymer, in ninth place with 751 points, is playing on home soil in Stockholm and meets Joao Sousa of Portugal in the first round. Behind back-to-back ATP Challenger Tour titles, Ymer has added 225 Race points in the past two weeks.
France's Corentin Moutet, in 10th place with 569 points, was looking to make up ground on Ymer in Stockholm, but Moutet fell to Serbian Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 6-4 on Monday.