U21 Race to Milan: Alexander Zverev extends the gap but will not play
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 4381
Alexander Zverev has proven his status of the best U21 player in the world with another deep Masters 1000 run in Shanghai, defeating Kyle Edmund to reach his seventh Masters 1000 semi-final before losing to Novak Djokovic.
Alexander is the fifth player who has qualified for the ATP Finals in London and he is officially out of the U21 Masters as he wants to fully prepare for the elite ATP event, just like in 2017. In the next two weeks, the Milan field will be completed and the only player who has qualified so far is Stefanos Tsitsipas who lost in the third round of Shanghai to Kevin Anderson.
Denis Shapovalov suffered a convincing loss in the opening round of Shanghai but he should qualify for Milan pretty soon, standing on 1450 points and 142 ahead of Alex de Minaur who has advanced into the third round at the penultimate Masters 1000 event of the season where he won just five games against Zverev.
The American Frances Tiafoe had to leave Shanghai after the opening round but he is also ready to compete in Milan, gathering 1055 points so far and seeking the place at his first U21 Masters. Taylor Fritz has qualified for the main draw in Shanghai and he won one match for rock solid 70 points that bring him to 898, looking good to make Milan debut just like his compatriot Tiafoe.
After playing in the semi-final of Washington, Andrey Rublev has won just one match in the next seven tournaments and he will have to play well to avoid the defeat in Moscow this week as well, facing Nick Kyrgios in the first round.
Had Zverev decided to play in Milan, Rublev would have been the last player with a direct ticket but in this case that player is Jaume Munar who has won just 65 points after the semi-final run in Kitzbuhel. An in-form Frenchman Ugo Humbert has entered the Top 100 this week for the first time and he is now the 9th player on our list after competing in five Challenger finals in the last three months, 85 points behind Munar and with a nice chance to catch him in Ismaning on the carpet this week where he is the 2nd seed.
Michael Mmoh has tried to qualify for the main draw of the ATP 250 event in Stockholm but he failed in the opening round to Alexei Popyrin and he has lost almost all chances of reaching Milan, just like almost all the players behind him. Top 10 U21 Race to Milan list:
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