ATP Race To London: Novak Djokovic to challenge Rafael Nadal in Shanghai


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ATP Race To London: Novak Djokovic to challenge Rafael Nadal in Shanghai

The week behind us had brought two ATP 250 events and two Challengers, not enough to notice any shifts in the ATP Race to London that will certainly heat up in Beijing and Tokyo this week. Novak Djokovic has refused to go to Beijing and chase 500 points at the event he won six times in the past, opting to stay in Belgrade where he worked with Filip Krajinovic, Danilo Petrovic and Ricardas Berankis in order to prepare himself for Shanghai Masters that will take place next week.

Novak is currently 1035 points behind Rafael Nadal in the ATP Race and he could have become the leader and the world number 1 with strong results in two big tournaments in China. Instead of that, Djokovic didn't want to rush things and he is opened to think about entering Viena or Basel in the week before Paris Masters in order to gain more points if he feels he need them.

Nadal has been working on his comeback after a knee injury that sidelined him from the Chinese swing where he won 110 points last year and he will give his best to enter Paris Masters and fight with Novak for the year-end number one position in the closing stages of the season.

Juan Martin del Potro stands third in the Race, more than 1500 points behind Novak, and he will qualify for the ATP Finals if he reaches the final in Beijing. Roger Federer has already qualified for London and he is 435 points ahead of Alexander Zverev who seeks points in Beijing as the 2nd seed behind del Potro.

The 21-year-old is 550 points clear of Marin Cilic who leads the Tokyo field together with Kevin Anderson, the last player who would have qualified for the ATP Finals if the last was based on this week's points. Dominic Thiem is still in a good position to reach London, taking a week off and preparing himself for Shanghai Masters where he can build a strong lead over John Isner who decided to withdraw from Beijing.

Kei Nishikori is the 10th player in the Race, almost 1000 points behind Anderson but with a solid chance to reduce the gap if he goes further than the South African at home in Tokyo, already winning the opening round match.

The other players will need a miracle in the next couple of weeks if they want to challenge for that last place in London, including the last year's ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov who has collected just 1700 points since the start of the season to barely stand in the Top 20 most probably miss the event where he won 1500 points in 2017. Top 15 players of the ATP Race to London:

 
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