The Race To London: Battle For Alternate Spots Heats Up In Paris-Bercy

The Race To London: Battle For Alternate Spots Heats Up In Paris-Bercy

With the field of eight set for London, the battle for the two alternate spots is on in the final Masters event of the year.

Noel John Alberto

The BNP Paribas Masters Paris is usually the setting for the tremendous end of the season race to achieve qualification for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. However with the field of eight set for London, the only thing that Paris-Bercy will be used to determine is to see who are the two alternates that could join the field should someone get injured.

Richard Gasquet, currently ninth and the first alternate spot, said that he will go to London as an alternate if he remains in ninth place. However, he said he will skip out the World Tour Finals if he is 10th and the second alternate. His countryman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, said he will not be going to London. Tsonga currently sits in the second alternate spot in 10th but now opens up a spot for Marin Cilic, Kevin Anderson, or John Isner to head to London.

The Race For The Alternates

Gasquet, the French number one, currently has some breathing room between himself, Tsonga, and the rest of the field who are trying to become alternates. He currently has a 170 point lead over Tsonga, 230 point lead over Cilic, 240 point lead over Anderson, and a 355 point lead over Isner. Cilic can not earn any more points after his second round loss to Grigor Dimitrov in Paris.

Isner, who currently sits behind Cilic and Anderson at 13, can surpass the Croat and South African and can move into the second alternate spot. This holds up if he defeats Roger Federer in the third round, but that’s only if the South African is defeated by Dominic Thiem in the second round.

Alternates get an opportunity to play in London, if someone withdraws from the tournament with an injury. Last year, Milos Raonic withdrew from the tournament with a thigh injury after two round-robin matches. David Ferrer, the first alternate, came in and played the final round-robin match against Kei Nishikori.