It was pretty much academic when the tournament started, but on Thursday Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mardy Fish finally made it official.
Tomas Berdych scored a straight-set win over Janko Tipsarevic, and the win not only qualified Berdych for his 2nd ATP World Tour Finals appearance, it also enabled Berdych to avenge four previous tour level loses to the Serb.
It has been a quiet year for Berdych, especially considering that many had him pegged for greatness after his breakout summer of 2010, which saw him reach the French Open semis and the Wimbledon final. Still, the 26-year-old has notched a 50-win season in 2011, and he is the first Czech player to record two consecutive top ten finishes since Petr Korda did so in 1991 and 1992.
Tsonga, who defeated Andreas Seppi in straight-sets today, will also be making his second appearance in London. It's been a very solid year for the flamboyant Frenchman. He became the second biggest story on the men's side at this year's Wimbledon when he defeated Roger Federer in the quarterfinals after dropping the first two sets (Federer was 178-0 after winning the first two sets in a Slam coming in), and he continued to captivate the London faithful in the semis when he lost a wildly entertaining semi to Novak Djokovic.
Fish became the only first-time London qualifier, in spite of retiring in the third set of his match vs. Juan Monaco today. Fish failed to convert on match points in the second set tiebreaker vs. Monaco, and once the third set got underway, he thought better of testing the hamstring that had also plagued him last week in Basel.
The 29-year-old has enjoyed a breakout year that saw him reach a career-high ranking, become the No. 1 American, and reach three consecutive ATP finals over the summer. "I'll certainly play London," said Fish, "there's no doubt about that. Even if it's torn I'm still going to try and play."