Roger Federer’s title victory in Basel entered the record books in numbers, but Kevin Anderson’s win over Kei Nishikori in the Vienna finals made history as he earned a spot, for the first time, in the ATP Finals in London.
The Paris Masters tournament is the last event in the regular Calendar but the results would not affect the six players already qualified for the ATP Finals in London. However, the remaining two slots will be decided in Paris.
Federer’s ninth trophy in Basel was also his ninety-ninth career title as well as the 20th match victory in a run of 12 consecutive finals in his home town event. It was all the more remarkable because on the eve of the event he made public the information that he had been nursing an injury in his right wrist for some time.
He almost lost in the first round and survived a close first set tie break in the finals against Romanian Marius Copil (ranked 93) who had defeated Marin Cilic and second seeded Alexander Zverev on route to the finals.
Kevin Anderson upheld the seedings after the top-seeded Domini Thiem was defeated by Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals. In the tile match, he defeated the Japanese in straight sets and thereby clinched the sixth spot in the race to London. The remaining two places could be taken by Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, Kei Nishikori or John Isner.
The top ranked ten players are in Paris. Although Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev, Juan Martin Del Potro and Kevin Anderson have earned their places in London. They are playing in Paris because of the effect on the end-of-year rankings.
In Paris, the sixteen seeded players are already through to the second round on byes. From the first round matches played, Karen Khachanov defeated Filip Krajinovic 7/5; 6/2, Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Steve Johnson 6/4; 7/6 (2) and France’s Adrian Mannarino defeated his compatriot and wild card entrant Ugo Humbert 6/4; 6/2.