Assessing the ATP Singles Race to London: The top 10 contenders

The race to the year-end ATP World Tour Finals in London is an intriguing subplot that runs parallel to the tennis season and, with the halfway point of the year having passed, it is perhaps necessary to take stock of those currently embroiled in the Race to the O2 Arena.

Below are the top 10 players who have accumulated the highest points total so far this year*

*Rankings are of 26 June 2017

Rafael Nadal

Current total: 6915

Having already secured his seat in London, the French Open champion has pound-for-pound been the best player on the tour this year and his form on the hard courts from January to April provide genuine hope that he will be able to construct his most productive year since 2013. Of course, he could bolster his current points haul at Wimbledon but the caveat of a recurring knee issue on grass and his decision to withdraw from the Queen’s Club hardly augur well. Still, preconceived worries over his fitness at the start of the year have been quelled and the sky is now the limit for the Spaniard.

Will he make it? Secured qualification

Roger Federer

Current total: 4545

The 35-year-old, although not willing to disclose publicly, is probably aiming to leapfrog his old nemesis Nadal at the summit of the race and there is no better place to start than at Wimbledon. Federer is eyeing an eighth crown at the All-England Club and the signs are promising. An 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open set the ball rolling and he completed the Sunshine Double in spring before skipping the clay court season. That decision could be vindicated with success at SW19 and few would put it past him after his ninth triumph on the lawns of Halle.

Will he make it? Yes

Dominic Thiem

Current total: 3165

The Austrian made the cut by the skin of his teeth last year and a productive clay court season has the unassuming 23-year-old ahead of many of the usual suspects. Thiem’s rigorous schedule has led credence to the suggestion that he can fatigue during crucial matches and a mixed record on hard courts hardly bodes well for the forthcoming US and Asian swings. He should be able to squeeze enough points together to make it back-to-back appearances but expect his ranking to fall.

Will he make it? Yes

Stan Wawrinka

Current total: 3140

An Australian Open semifinal and French Open final have the Swiss number one firmly nestled at fourth in the Race to London and the 31-year-old’s ability to raise his level at the majors should ensure of his place at the year-end tournament. Early exits at Masters events have been accepted as the norm but a repeat of his feat at the U.S. Open last summer is certainly plausible.

Will he make it? Yes

Alexander Zverev

Current total: 2530

Such has been the rise of the 20-year-old that many had him as a shoo-in for the other year-end event in Milan. The German continues to stamp his authority on the tour with titles in Munich, Montpellier and, most impressively, the Masters 1000 event in Rome. That day he routed Novak Djokovic and Zverev has shown himself capable of producing performances on each of three surfaces. A disappointing first round exit at the French Open set him back but a deep run at Wimbledon or in Flushing Meadows would seal his ticket to the English capital.

Will he make it? Yes

Zverev posing with the Internazional BNL d'Italia trophy in May (Photo: Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images Europe)

Novak Djokovic

Current total: 1975

Just as the Serb was showing signs of his early 2016 self during the clay court swing he suffered a dismal straight sets loss to Thiem in the quarterfinals of the French Open. Djokovic, however, is undoubtedly a more assured player than he was at the beginning of the year when he was upset by Denis Istomin in Melbourne and suffered consecutive reverses to Nick Kyrgios in Acapulco and Indian Wells. The addition of Andre Agassi – although it is yet to be determined whether the American will work with the world number four on a full-time basis – will surely have its desired effect and the year-end Asian swing usually proves lucrative for the Serb.

Will he make it? Yes

Andy Murray

Current total: 1930

Likewise, the world number one has suffered a crisis of confidence. Just as he was finally beginning to find his feet with a semifinal appearance at Roland Garros he was dumped out of Queen’s at the first time of asking. His run to the last four in Paris has lifted him inside the top eight and it is entirely plausible that the Scot is merely sparing himself for a last shot at adding a few more major titles to his resume. Wimbledon should provide a clearer picture.

Will he make it? Yes

David Goffin

Current total: 1820

Ruled out of Wimbledon after suffering a freak injury at the French Open, the Belgian may take time to readjust when he returns in time for the US hard court swing but Goffin’s consistency may carry him to the year-end event. His style complements the medium-fast hard courts that dominate the latter end of the schedule and it would be deserving if the Belgian got the chance to showcase his many talents in London.

Will he make it? Yes

Grigor Dimitrov

Current total: 1745

A dazzling start to the year -- with titles in Brisbane and Sofia plus an Australian Open semifinal to boot -- has quickly fizzled out but the Bulgarian is entering a period of the season he usually relishes. He reached the last four at Queen's but the worrying aspect for fans of the Bulgarian is his inability to press home his dominance, often gifting opponents an easy route back into matches. Still, he is undoubtedly in a better position than he was twelve months ago.

Will he make it? No

Pablo Carreno-Busta

Current total: 1740

The Spaniard is enjoying a breakout year on the tour and his absence at Wimbledon could be a blessing in disguise after a grueling six months. A semifinalist at Indian Wells, a champion in Estoril and a French Open quarterfinalist, Carreno-Busta is certainly playing with swagger. However, the real test will lie in his ability to deal with the quicker paced courts in China – a crucial part of the calendar if he is to mount a push in the race.

Will he make it? No