12:21 PM GMT March 10, 2017
Two months into the season, it may come as little surprise to see two familiar names atop the Emirates ATP Race To London. While ATP World Tour fans may think Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are leading the quest for the eight singles berths at the Nitto ATP Finals, its Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – with an astonishing 158 titles between them – who are setting the pace.
At 35 years of age, Federer leads the Emirates ATP Race To London with 2,045 points, on the back of his stunning Australian Open triumph in January over second-placed Nadal, who is 500 points behind courtesy of a runner-up finish at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco (l. to Querrey). Last year, neither six-time Nitto ATP Finals titlist Federer or Nadal competed at The O2 in London due to injuries.
Defending champion Murray has surged up to seventh in the Emirates ATP Race to London on 830 points, having clinched the 45th singles title of his career at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where he beat Fernando Verdasco in the final.
Five-time Nitto ATP Finals champion Djokovic is currently adrift at No. 20, with 385 points, in his bid to qualify for the 12-19 November extravaganza in the English capital. With eight months left to qualify, however, the Serbian is expected to begin closing the gap over the spring in the US hard-court season, where he has triumphed five times previously at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and six times at the Miami Open presented by Itau.
Hot on heels of Federer and Nadal is Grigor Dimitrov, who is hoping to make his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals later this year. The Bulgarian is little more than 200 points behind Nadal on 1,130 points and has won two ATP World Tour titles – at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp and the Garanti Koza Sofia Open – from four tournament appearances in 2017. Dimitrov also lost to Nadal in a five-set Australian Open semi-final.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a Nitto ATP Finals qualifier in 2008, 2011-12, sits fourth in the Emirates ATP Race To London (on 1,245 points), courtesy of back-to-back ATP World Tour titles at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam and the Open 13 Marseille. After making his debut at The O2 last season, Dominic Thiem is again well placed early on in fifth position, on 950 points, with the Rio Open presented by Claro crown in his trophy cabinet.
Rounding out the eight at the two-month mark is sixth-placed David Goffin and No. 8-placed, three-time ATP Finals semi-finalist, Stan Wawrinka. Sam Querrey, who surprised many with his run to the Rio de Janeiro title, surged up 64 position to No. 9 with 635 points.