Tennis

2023 Nitto ATP Finals – Djokovic officially becomes second man to qualify

The Nitto ATP Finals, sometimes referred to as the ‘End Of Year Masters’, is always an exciting event to watch. As you might be aware already, this event is reserved for just 8 ATP players. In short, it’s the best-performing ATP players of each season that make it into the Nitto ATP Finals. The event is played in Turin for the men, and besides the four Grand Slam tournaments, this is pretty much the most prestigious event of the season. On that note, following his impressive win over Taylor Fritz in the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Open on Friday, August 18th, Novak Djokovic is now the second man to qualify. 

Nitto ATP Finals Novak Djokovic

The first was Carlos Alcaraz, and he actually qualified for the ATP Finals well over a month ago. When you think about it, it’s pretty wild that both of these guys have qualified since the Nitto ATP Finals don’t even start until November 12th – close to three months away. Nevertheless, both Djokovic and Alcaraz have officially qualified. As for how Djokovic has qualified for the 2023 Nitto ATP Finals, I would like to reveal how this has occurred right now.

Novak Djokovic confirms spot in Nitto ATP Finals 2023 – how this has been determined

Before I go into how Novak Djokovic has qualified for the 2023 Nitto ATP Finals, it’s important to understand the qualifying process for this event. I say this because, without knowledge of how to qualify for the ATP Finals, none of the following information would make any sense. So, before I get into how Djokovic is a confirmed entry, let me cover the key qualifying criteria that relate to both Djokovic and Alcaraz and their early qualification.

Nitto ATP Finals – the qualifying process explained

As referenced above, the Nitto ATP Finals is the End Of Year Masters tournament where the top 8 performers come to Turin to compete for the title. The winner is essentially hailed as the champion of the ATP Tour for that reason. But when it comes to how these 8 players are determined, it can be a bit confusing, especially with regard to early entrants like Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz. So, let me reveal the three qualifying criteria for the ATP Finals before we move forward:

  • First – top 7 players following the final ATP tournament of the season
  • Second – one or two Grand Slam winners in 2023 ranked 8th – 20th
  • Third – number 8 player in ATP rankings

Note that I’ve listed the qualifying criteria in terms of first, second, and third as this is how the selections are made in terms of their priority. And because of the way that the ATP rankings system works, these criteria need to be in place to avoid possible overlaps and problems. However, if you follow the ATP Tour closely, you will already have an idea of how Djokovic and Alcaraz have qualified by simply looking at these three points. 

This brings me to the main focus of this post – how Novak Djokovic is already part of the Nitto ATP Finals for 2023.

Specifics of Djokovic’s qualification for the Nitto ATP Finals

The reason that Djokovic qualified on exactly August 18th relates to his performance in the Western & Southern Open. Don’t forget – Djokovic didn’t play any US tournaments in 2022. So any points that he gains in these events in 2023 are totally fresh points that are being added to his cumulative total. On that note, now that he has reached the semi-finals, he is guaranteed at least +360 points. Of course, the number of points added to his tally will be even greater if he is to reach the finals or win the tournament.

Yet based on this, how has he possibly qualified for the 2023 Nitto ATP Finals already? Well, it all boils down to the possibilities of how the ATP rankings can change between now and Turin. So, starting with his points tally, Novak Djokovic is currently the number 2 in the world, and he has 8,795 points to his name. And since he has zero points to defend until after the US Open, this total will only increase, whereas all the players around him can lose points from their tally over the coming weeks.

But that’s not the only reason he has officially qualified. Adding to the 12-month rolling system in terms of ATP points that is on Djokovic’s side, the second qualifying criteria is what guarantees him a spot in the tournament. In short, since Novak Djokovic has won two Grand Slam events, even if he fell to a ranking of 8-20, he would still qualify because of this rule.


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