U21 Race to Milan: Stefanos Tsitsipas steals the show in Barcelona


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U21 Race to Milan: Stefanos Tsitsipas steals the show in Barcelona

Alexander Zverev is still the man to beat on the U21 Race to Milan list but this week's spotlight goes to Stefanos Tsitsipas who played in his first ATP final in Barcelona, losing to Rafael Nadal in straight sets. Stefanos is the first player born in 1998 who played in the ATP 500 final (Frances Tiafoe has won the first title for this generation at Delray Beach in February but on the ATP 250 level) and with these 300 points he has managed to pass five players on the list and go from 7th to 2nd.

Tsitsipas is now on 599 points, far behind Zverev's 1285 but more than 100 clear of Taylor Fritz who didn't play since Houston. Andrey Rublev is 4th but he will also miss a few weeks due to injury, staying on 440 points.

Frances Tiafoe is another America player who opted to take a break after Houston and he stays 5th, just seven points behind Rublev. Alex de Minaur had a week off after Monte Carlo and he returns to action in Estoril, hoping to improve his tally and win some valuable points in the battle with the players ranked above him.

Denis Shapovalov still can't find the right balance on clay, losing in the second round of Budapest to Nikoloz Basilashvili and skipping this week in order to prepare for Madrid Masters where he would chase his second ATP win on the slowest surface.

These seven players are still the main contenders to make a direct entry to Milan (if Zverev decides to play, of course) and they are chased by Marc Polmans who reached the final in Tallahassee Challenger to add fresh 48 points to his tally.

Casper Ruud has moved to 9th after losing in the final of Francavilla Challenger and these two players have to work even harder in order to catch Shapovalov and the rest of the players in front of them. Michael Mmoh lost in the quarters of Tallahassee to Polmans, standing three points behind Ruud and 26 ahead of Reilly Opelka who returns to competition in Savannah.

Lloyd Harris lost in the quarter-final of strong Anning Challenger to move from 16th to 13th and the second new player in the Top 15 is Jaume Munar who won a match in Barcelona before losing to Dominic Thiem. Top 15 list:

 
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