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Sinner soars past Ruud in Vienna as Race to Turin intensifies

There are two spaces left on the plane to Turin – and the two most likely travellers faced each other in a Vienna quarter-final

Jannik Sinner Tennis – ATP 500 – Erste Bank Open – Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria – October 29, 2021 Italy’s Jannik Sinner in action during his quarter final match against Norway’s Casper Ruud (Panoramic)

Jannik Sinner is staking a late claim for a spot at the season-ending ATP Finals. He already boosted his chances when he took the title at the European Open in Antwerp last weekend. Now with his straight-sets 7-5, 6-1 win over Casper Ruud in the Erste Bank Open quarter-finals in Vienna, the Italian has moved up to eighth spot in the Race to Turin – the final spot for qualification, finally overtaking Rafael Nadal, whose foot injury has already ruled him out of taking part in the showcase.

The 20-year-old’s rise also bumps down to tenth place Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who had looked poised to take the last spot, but lost in the Vienna first round to former world No 1 Andy Murray.

Ruud may not be too disconsolate. He is still seventh in the Race, and though Sinner can overtake him this weekend, he retains a 50-point lead over Hurkacz and will not drop out of the top eight imminently.

Felix Auger-Aliassime’s bid to qualify for the ATP Finals had suffered a blow earlier in the day when he lost to Alexander Zverev in Vienna. The 21-year-old is 12th in the Race To Turin with 2420 points – still 455 points behind 11th-placed Cameron Norrie, the man he beat yesterday.

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