10/23/12 2:23 PM | Johan Lindahl
Two spots remain - in theory - for the eight-man year-end championships after Czech Tomas Berdych made it into the field as the sixth qualifier following his Stockholm Open title.
The former Wimbledon finalist will be playing the eight-man season wrap for the third time, joining a short list which includes Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer.
But Nadal is the joker in the pack with growing indications that the injured Spaniard will not be recovered from the knee injury which has kept him off the courts for four months. His possible target dates for a return are all over the calendar, but most centre on the 2013 season.
Berdych will have a busy coming month on his plate with the Paris Masters, London World Tour Finals plus a November 16-18 Davis Cup final at home in Prague against Spain - almost certain to be without Nadal.
"London is always a goal every season," Berdych said. "You have to play well the whole year to qualify. It will be special for me to play there for the third year in a row."
Berdych beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, another London contender with the season in its final two weeks, dulling his qualifying chances only slightly. Berdych became the first Czech to win the trophy in Stockholm since Ivan Lendl in 1989. He has now claimed eight ATP career titles by handing Tsonga a seventh loss in a final.
Those still chasing London spots include Tsonga, Juan Martin Del Potro (the Basel second seed this week) and Serb Janko Tipsarevic, among others.
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