The 2023 Nitto ATP Finals Has Its First Confirmed Qualifier – Carlos Alcaraz

The end-of-year ATP Finals is always a spectacle. It wraps up a grueling season of competition for the players involved, and it’s also a mark of success in the sport. In case you aren’t overly familiar with the tournament, this is the end-of-year event in which the top 8 players battle it out to become the end-of-year champion. Since the ATP Finals are played in November each year, however, it’s obviously an indoor tournament. This alone makes it quite different from most of the other top-flight events held throughout the season.

Alcaraz ATP Finals

As for the 2023 installment of the ATP Finals, while this might seem crazy, we already have one man that has officially qualified. That man is Carlos Alcaraz, and he has snapped up a qualification spot following his incredible run at Wimbledon. As a quick reminder, he managed to win the tournament, beating Novak Djokovic in an incredible five-set match in the finals. In doing so, Alcaraz earned himself 2,000 ATP points, taking his current tally to 9,675. 

Simply put, this has ensured that he quite literally cannot fail to qualify for the end-of-year ATP Finals. And this is obviously super exciting for tennis fans, as Alcaraz missed out on the chance to play in the ATP Finals last year due to injury. Then again, it’s not simply the fact that he is world number 1 that has led to his confirmed qualification so early in the season. There’s a bit more to the story than that, which I’d like to share with you right now.

Alcaraz Leading the Pack for the 2023 ATP Finals

Since Alcaraz is the first guy to officially qualify for the 2023 ATP Finals, it’s not unfair to say that he is leading the way for the others. Of course, given that he has now qualified, this leaves just 7 more spots open for others to head to Turin in 2023. This sets the stage for a very interesting and competitive end to the 2023 season, and I can’t wait to watch the rest of the tournaments unfold. However, those tournaments and what’s to come don’t have too much of an impact on this particular topic.

So rather than talking at length about such tournaments and how the end of the year might pan out, let’s get back to the matter at hand. Exactly how is it that Alcaraz has qualified for the ATP Finals in July? Well, let me show you.

He Has Won a Grand Slam

The first and perhaps the most important of all the reasons is the fact that he has won a Grand Slam in 2023. But if that’s true, you might be thinking – why has Novak Djokovic not yet qualified since he’s won two of them? That’s a good question, and it’s one that can be explained. Essentially, if you win a Grand Slam in any calendar year, even if you don’t make the top 7 cut to qualify for the finals, you’ve still got an edge over the rest.

That’s because of how the qualifying for the ATP Finals is done. Notice that I said 7 and not 8 for ‘making the cut’. This is the case since only the top 7 automatically qualify, leaving the 8th spot open for whoever has won a Grand Slam event in that season. However, this player must be ranked 8th – 20th to allow this qualification to kick in. And the good news for Alcaraz is that the other two slams were claimed by Djokovic, who is almost certain to finish inside the top 7.

His Overall Points Tally

Adding to the fact that Alcaraz has managed to win a Grand Slam in 2023, he also has a huge points tally. As noted earlier, he currently has a grand total of 9,675 ATP points, which is 900 more than Novak Djokovic – the world number 2. Then again, players can obviously lose points, as well as gain them, as the ATP season progresses. But the good news for Alcaraz is that he doesn’t have a ton of points to defend from the remaining Masters events based on his performances in them in 2022.

And even if he didn’t do great at the US Open, the loss of points wouldn’t be enough to take him out of the qualification region.

The Points Tally for Other Potential Qualifiers

Last but not least, while the math is somewhat complex, the other possible qualifiers cannot rack up enough points to bump him out of a qualification spot. Bear in mind that since he has won a Grand Slam, he would need to drop out of the top 20 in the ATP rankings, which is essentially impossible already. I say this because if you look through the most recent ATP rankings updates, players ranked outside of the top 18 don’t even have 2,000 points.

Of course, following his win in Wimbledon, Alcaraz has 2,000 points to his name for that tournament alone. And if you look at players who are ranked outside of the top 20, nobody has more than 1,600 ATP points, at the time of writing. So taking it all into account, we are all set to see Alcaraz go for the title in Turin.

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