TENNIS NEWS • DEL POTRO WINS IN BEIJING, NEXT IN LINE TO CLINCH SPOT IN LONDON | ATP FINALS

Written by: on 2nd October 2018
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TENNIS NEWS • DEL POTRO WINS IN BEIJING, NEXT IN LINE TO CLINCH SPOT IN LONDON | ATP FINALS  |
Photo by @ATPWorldTour via Twitter

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

Juan Martin Del Potro is one win away from clinching a berth in the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals following his 7-5, 6-3 first-round China Open victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Tuesday. Del Potro cracked 10 aces while double-faulting only once as he got the job done in one hour and 29 minutes.

 

Del Potro entered this week with 4,910 points. He added 45 to his total with his victory over Ramos-Vinolas and a Wednesday win would move the 2009 U.S. Open champion from 4,955 points to 5,000 points. Based on the race to London as it stands right now, 4,990 is enough for clinching–as it is mathematically impossible for more than eight contenders to reach that total per everyone’s current numbers.

 

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic have already booked their spots at the O2 Arena. Del Potro is actually third in the race ahead of Federer, but the 37-year-old Swiss has already secured his place because he owns a Grand Slam title (Australian Open).

 

“I think it’s a good battle between us to qualify for London,” Del Potro noted. “It’s something extra; another extra pressure for us. But it’s a nice pressure, I think. We enjoy that pressure because we are fighting for the same goal. There’s still five spots free. [There] are more than six players fighting for those five spots. It’s interesting to watch, as well. Hopefully I can reach London after many years [away]. It will be great for me. But I know I have to still win couple of matches to be there.”

 

Beating Khachanov in the second round would be enough. Wednesday in Beijing marks the third career encounter between the two big hitters and also the second this season, with Del Potro sweeping the head-to-head series 2-0. The veteran Argentine scored a 7-6(4), 6-3 victory in Auckland and won 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-7(0), 6-4 shortly thereafter at the Australian Open.

 

Khachanov gets another shot at Del Potro thanks to his 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Sam Querrey on Monday at the China Open.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @TennGrand.

 

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