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Field set for Nitto ATP Finals: Nadal top seed and Fritz qualifies with Alcaraz out

With the Rolex Paris Masters in the rearview mirror, the regular season is over and the field is set for the 2022 Nitto ATP Finals. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Andrey Rublev officially clinched their spots thanks to the Paris results, while Taylor Fritz was the last to qualify after world No. 1 and U.S. Open champion Carlos Alcaraz withdrew due to an abdominal injury.

Alcaraz, who would have been the top seed in Turin, retired from last week’s Paris quarterfinal match against eventual champion Holger Rune.

“After my withdrawal yesterday and having been evaluated by my medical team,…unfortunately this is the result of my injury: an internal oblique muscle tear in the left abdominal wall with an estimated recovery time of six week,” the Spaniard announced on social media. “Unfortunately I won’t make the ATP Finals or the Davis Cup Finals. It is tough and painful for me to miss these two events, which are so important to me, but all I can do is be positive and focus on my recovery.”

Now Fritz, who had already been planning to be in Turin as the first alternate, will make his debut appearance at the year-end championship.

Here are the top eight seeds in Turin, divided into pairings in which they will go into the draw ceremony.

1. Rafael Nadal
2. Stefanos Tsitsipas

3. Casper Ruud
4. Daniil Medvedev

5. Felix Auger-Aliassime
6. Andrey Rublev

7. Novak Djokovic
8. Taylor Fritz

As the seeds indicate, the year-and championship draw has a chance to be quite lopsided. Medvedev and Ruud are guaranteed to be in different groups, and the same goes for Djokovic and Fritz. There is even a significant discrepancy on paper right now between Auger-Aliassime and Rublev. Nobody wants to land in the same group as Medvedev, Djokovic, and Auger-Aliassime in those particular pairings. A quartet involving Medvedev, Djokovic, and Auger-Aliassime would make for a nightmarish group regardless where Nadal or Tsitsipas land.

The draw will be made on Thursday and competition begins inside Turin’s Pala Alpitour on Sunday.

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