ATP Race to London: Federer, Zverev, del Potro and Nadal lead the charge


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ATP Race to London: Federer, Zverev, del Potro and Nadal lead the charge

Five of the 13 biggest tournaments prior to the season finale in London are behind us and the moment is good to make an overview and check who are the most successful players of the season so far. We had one Grand Slam and four Masters 1000 tournaments up for grabs in the first four and a half months of the new season and they have been won by five different players, four of those who lead the standings in the ATP Race to London. Roger Federer has played just four tournaments in 2018 but he is the leader of the ATP Race and the only player who has managed to collect more than 3000 points after Madrid.

The great Swiss is the oldest player in the Top 50 of the Race but that was hardly an obstacle for him so far in 2018, kicking it off with 17 straight wins and winning titles at the Australian Open and in Rotterdam. In the final of Indian Wells Roger squandered match points against Juan Martin del Potro, missing a chance to win his third title of the year and make it even better, although it is still mighty impressive considering his age.

Alexander Zverev is the youngest player in the Top 20 and he has already scored 26 wins in 2018 for the second place on the list, 575 points behind Federer. The German didn't enjoy a perfect start of the year but he found his form after Indian Wells, reaching the final in Miami and the semi-final in Monte Carlo before winning back-to-back titles in Munich and Madrid.

Sascha played on an amazing level in the Spanish capital, facing one break point in five matches and winning the title without losing his serve or a set, his third at Masters 1000 level. Juan Martin del Potro was one of the best players in the opening three months of the new season, lifting the trophy in Acapulco and claiming his first Masters 1000 crown at Indian Wells in that great match against Roger, conquering his biggest title since the US Open 2009.

The Argentinian took deserved break after losing to John Isner in the semi-final of Miami and he lost in the third round of Madrid in his first ATP event on clay. Juan Martin compiled 2210 points so far in 2018 and he is 170 clear of Rafael Nadal who is fourth on the list and the last who checked 2000-point mark so far.

Rafa has played just four events since the start of the season, struggling with injury after he retired in Melbourne against Marin Cilic and returning in Monte Carlo where he picked up his 11th title in the Principality and his first since Beijing last fall.

As always, Nadal was the best player in Barcelona as well but he won just 180 points in Madrid, failing to defend his title after the quarter-final loss to Dominic Thiem in straight sets, ending his streak of 50 straight sets won on clay.

Marin Cilic is fifth on the list with 1650 points and the majority of these came at the Australian Open where he lost in the final to Roger Federer, earning 1200 points to boost his chances of reaching London in November.

The other results were not that good, losing in the semi-final of Pune and in the quarter-final of Monte Carlo, hoping to bounce back in Rome where he plays against Ryan Harrison in the second round. Dominic Thiem is 35 points behind Marin and he was certainly hoping for more than 1615 points prior to Rome, winning a small title in Buenos Aires but losing in the quarters of Rio de Janeiro, Acapulco, Monte Carlo and Barcelona before he reached the title match in Madrid where he lost to Zverev in straight sets.

Thiem produced a great tennis against Nadal and he is among the favorites in Rome and Paris, looking to improve his tally and the position in the battle for London. Kevin Anderson has been very constant in 2018, reaching the last eight in six out of eight tournaments he played, with finals in Pune, New York and Acapulco.

The South African was very solid in March, with the quarter-final appearance at Indian Wells and Miami and the semi-final in Madrid, earning the place in London on the provisional list. The Australian Open semi-finalist Hyeon Chung is in the eight spot, 50 behind Kevin Anderson and 115 ahead of Miami winner John Isner.

The Korean competed in nine tournaments so far in 2018 and he was in the quarter-final in seven of those, making the semis only twice and failing to play in the final up to this point of the season. John Isner and defending ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov are the first players below the line, waiting for their chance in the following next months if they bring their "A game" in Rome and Roland Garros and also during the grass season.

Top 15 players on the ATP Race to London:

 
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