RUBLEV SECURES FIRST-TIME QUALIFICATION TO NITTO ATP FINALS AFTER CAREER-BEST 2020 SEASON
- One singles place left at season finale with Paris and Sofia to play
LONDON — Andrey Rublev has qualified for the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals for the first time after he captured an ATP Tour-best fifth title in 2020 on Sunday at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. The Russian, who is the seventh singles player to secure his spot, will join Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, compatriot Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev at the season finale, to be held at The O2 in London from 15-22 November.
The 23-year-old Rublev is the fifth Russian singles player to qualify in the 50-year history of the Nitto ATP Finals, following in the footsteps of 1997 runner-up Yevgeny Kafelnikov (1995-2001), Marat Safin (2000, ’02, ’04), 2009 champion Nikolay Davydenko (2005-09) and Medvedev (2019-20). This year marks the first time since 2000 (Safin and Kafelnikov) that Russia has two singles qualifiers at the season finale.
Rublev has enjoyed a career-best season in 2020, lifting an ATP Tour-best five trophies. Rublev started the year by becoming the first man since Dominik Hrbaty in 2004 to win two trophies in the first two weeks of the season, lifting silverware at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha (d. Moutet) and the Adelaide International (d. Harris) in January. He has also won three ATP 500 titles at the Hamburg European Open (d. Tsitsipas) in September, the St. Petersburg Open (d. Coric) last month, and in Vienna (d. Sonego). In Grand Slam play, Rublev rallied from 0-2 sets down for the first time in his career to defeat Sam Querrey en route to the Roland Garros quarter-finals (l. to Tsitsipas) and reached the last eight at the US Open for a second time (l. to Medvedev).
Having started a reduced 2020, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, at No. 23 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Rublev broke into the Top 10 for the first time on 12 October. He attained a career-high of No. 8 on 19 October and currently has a 39-7 match record.
Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros last month, is next in line to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals at No. 9 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, with just two tournaments — the Rolex Paris Masters and the Sofia Open — left in the regular ATP Tour season.
In doubles, Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic, and John Peers and Michael Venus are close to securing their team berths in London. Australian Open titlists Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram, US Open champions Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares, Roland Garros winners Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, and Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos have already secured their places in the 2020 field.
In line with UK Government guidance, the 2020 season finale is being planned behind closed doors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nitto ATP Finals, featuring the best eight singles players and doubles teams, has been held in London since 2009 and has successfully established itself as one of the major annual sporting events worldwide. The tournament is broadcast in more than 180 territories with global viewership reaching an average of 95 million each year. The event will be held in Turin, Italy, from 2021-2025.