Stefanos Tsitsipas has more than just a title at stake at next week’s Nitto ATP Finals. The Greek star controls his destiny in the battle for the year-end No. 1 Pepperstone ATP Ranking.
If the 24-year-old wins the season finale without losing a match, he will climb to World No. 1 for the first time and finish the year atop men’s tennis’ mountain. However, if Tsitsipas does not go 5-0 at the Pala Alpitour in Turin, he will open the door for Rafael Nadal to return to top spot.
The Spaniard can accomplish the feat by winning the title. If Tsitsipas does not leave Turin as an undefeated champion, Nadal can also return to World No. 1 by advancing to the final after winning all three of his round-robin matches.
1) Carlos Alcaraz
2) Rafael Nadal
3) Stefanos Tsitsipas
Nadal has finished year-end No. 1 five times previously, most recently in 2019. Accomplishing the feat again this year would put the Spaniard in joint-second for most year-end No. 1 finishes in Pepperstone ATP Rankings history (since 1973) with Pete Sampras (6).
If none of those scenarios play out, Carlos Alcaraz will remain at World No. 1 and earn his first year-end No. 1 finish. The 19-year-old, who first ascended to top spot on 12 September after winning the US Open, withdrew from the Nitto ATP Finals because of an internal oblique muscle tear in his left abdominal wall.
Players at the Nitto ATP Finals earn 200 points for each round-robin win, 400 points for a semi-final victory and 500 points for triumphing in the championship match.
If Alcaraz and Nadal finish the season finale with the same number of points, Nadal will be World No. 1 because he will have more total points from the Grand Slams, ATP Masters 1000 mandatory tournaments and the Nitto ATP Finals. Seven-time year-end World No. 1 Djokovic is not in contention to claim year-end No. 1 honours in Turin.