Italians Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini both earned key wins on Thursday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters in their bids to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.
Berrettini knocked out Roberto Bautista Agut, who sits in seventh position in the 2019 ATP Race To London (2,485 points), 7-6(5), 6-4 in just under two hours for a place in the quarter-finals.
Having started the day in 10th place, Berrettini now has 2,365 points and should both Alexander Zverev (2,345) and David Goffin (2,325) lose their matches in Shanghai, he will finish Thursday in eighth place.
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Fognini, who avenged last week’s China Open loss to Karen Khachanov with a 6-3, 7-5 victory, is now up to 11th position in the 2019 ATP Race To London (2,235 points). The Italian is 110 points behind Zverev.
“It’s a dream,” said Fognini on Thursday. “Of course, I’m still there. But it’s the only thing that I’m happy [about], because I find timing in my game. I’m not thinking about it, mostly. I think if I play well, [then] I still have chance.”
Three singles spots remains up for grabs at the season finale, to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November, with less than five weeks to go in the regular ATP Tour season. Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who also reached the Shanghai quarter-finals on Thursday, is next in line to qualify on 3,550 points.
Berrettini, a winner of two ATP Tour titles this year at the Hungarian Open in Budapest (d. Krajinovic) and at the BMW Open by FWU in Munich (d. Garin), will next face the winner between four-time Nitto ATP Finals qualifier Dominic Thiem and Nikoloz Basilashvili on Friday.
Fognini, this year’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters champion, will challenge Daniil Medvedev, the 2019 ATP Tour match wins leader (56).