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Felix Auger-Aliassime, Andrey Rublev complete ATP Finals field after Gilles Simon outlasts Taylor Fritz
Holger Rune also contributed to handing out the final pair of Turin tickets when he eliminated Hubert Hurkacz at the Paris Masters Wednesday.
Published Nov 02, 2022
This year’s Nitto ATP Finals field is set after a wild Wednesday evening at the Paris Rolex Masters.
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Andrey Rublev completed the eight-man field following losses by Hubert Hurkacz and Taylor Fritz in the second round of the Masters 1000 tournament.
Hurkacz first saw his Turin dreams collapse at the hands of a player making his Top 20 debut this week, Holger Rune. A day earlier, the 19-year-old saved three match points to topple Stan Wawrinka, but today, ran away in posting a 7-5, 6-1 victory over the 10th-seeded Pole to line up a showdown with Rublev. Hurkacz qualified for the year-end championships last year when the event debuted at the Pala Alpitour.
As for Fritz, he couldn’t overcome a spirited crowd urging a beloved competitor on in his farewell tournament. Gilles Simon extended his career another day by knocking out the No. 9 seed, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, in 3 hours and 6 minutes.
Channeling shades of this year’s Roland Garros, where the 37-year-old ousted Pablo Carreño Busta and added a second-round win over Steve Johnson, wild card Simon has battled to win a pair of gritty three-setters in Bercy.
At 2-3 in the third set, Simon wiped away three break points to hold in a crucial 16-point game. Three games later, he broke Fritz for the fourth time to put the match on his racquet, and subsequently shut the door at 15.
"It's more the crowd that is making me a gift rather than the contrary. I'm just on the court, I do my best, as I have always done," Simon told French media in press.
"But maybe there is a perception that has changed when I said I was going to stop at the end of the year. Jo has also stopped. Often we were considered as a group of four. So there is one, and then two, and then you start saying, Okay, it's going to be difficult. So indeed, from that moment onwards, and I said it on the court at the end of the first round, I felt a lot of support and compassion from the audience, which is no longer judging the result."
All but one of Simon’s seven tour-level wins in 2022 have come on home soil. World No. 11 Fritz is the highest-ranked player he has defeated since upsetting fifth-ranked Daniil Medvedev in the 2020 Marseille quarterfinals.
Could Simon add a Top 10 win next? Auger-Aliassime, who joined world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz as participants due to make their inaugural ATP Finals appearances, awaits.
Meanwhile, Rublev punched his third consecutive ATP Finals ticket. The reigning event champion, Alexander Zverev, has been sidelined since tearing multiple ligaments in his right ankle during his Roland Garros semifinal with Rafael Nadal.
The ATP Finals singles field:
- Carlos Alcaraz
- Rafael Nadal
- Stefanos Tsitsipas
- Casper Ruud
- Daniil Medvedev
- Felix Auger-Aliassime
- Andrey Rublev
- Novak Djokovic
Note: seeding to be determined after the Paris Rolex Masters