Felix Auger-Aliassime, Andrey Rublev on bubble as the battle for the spots heats up in Turin | TBEN | Tennis

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Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz have qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals during the US Open. But with two months until the season finale at the Pala Alpitour, the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin is gaining popularity.

Past qualifiers Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev are all well positioned in third through fifth respectively. But among them the struggle is fierce.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime is currently in seventh place as he tries to earn his spot in the year-end championships for the first time. The Canadian missed an opportunity to earn a buffer at the US Open, where he lost to Jack Draper in the second round. But with 2,860 points, the 22-year-old is 160 points ahead of eighth-seeded Alexander Zverev, a two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion who has since retired from the US Open due to injury.

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Auger-Aliassime is just 190 points behind sixth-seeded Andrey Rublev, who is trying to qualify for the third straight year. Rublev advanced to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows. If 15th-seeded Novak Djokovic, this year’s Wimbledon champion, stays in the Top 20 of the Race as expected, it will make seventh place this year, not eighth.

Pepperstone ATP Live Race to Turin Stand

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Other players within striking distance include ninth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz (2,545) and reigning BNP Paribas Open champion Taylor Fritz, who is in 10th place (2,385). Two weeks later this month, there will be five ATP 250 events, where players can try their best to get closer to qualifying or secure their position.

The next big chance for the stars of the TBEN to take a big leap is the week of October 3, when there will be ATP 500 events in Nur-Sultan and Tokyo. Among those on the Nur-Sultan entry list are Alcaraz, Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Rublev, and Auger-Aliassime. Ruud, Zverev, Fritz and Cameron Norrie are on the program in Tokyo.

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Djokovic, who has qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals 14 times, is currently 15th in the Race. However, the Serb is still in position to earn his spot on the Pala Alpitour.

Djokovic won Wimbledon this year, making him eligible for the Grand Slam winner’s rule. If one major champion of the current year is between eighth and 20th in the race, he qualifies in eighth place.