Whatever happens henceforth in 19-year-old Juan Manuel Cerúndolo’s career, he’ll always have Cordoba.
The twitchy lefty with a game you would have thought wouldn’t break eggs went all the way from qualifier to champion at the Cordoba Open this week.
It was as unlikely as it was awesome, as experienced opponent after experienced opponent fell victim to his funky game.
He’s the Rudy of tennis. And don’t you forget it.
With three ATP Tour events and a host of Challengers on last week’s slate, there were a lot of movers for the updated rankings, official Monday.
It’s also the week that Novak Djokovic ties Roger Federer with 310 weeks at No. 1. In a week’s time, he’ll hold that record all by himself.
ON THE UPSWING
David Goffin (BEL): No. 15 ========> No. 14 (The Belgian gains a spot, and drops Milos Raonic a spot, with his win in Montpellier. It was Goffin’s first title in more than three years).
Marin Cilic (CRO): No. 41 ========> No. 38 (Cilic decided to go to Singapore after Melbourne, and did well. But he’s skipping Rotterdam this week).
Alexander Bublik (KAZ): No. 46 ========> No. 43 (The 23-year-old made the Singapore final, losing to Popyrin).
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP): No. 56 ========> No. 51 (The 21-year-old gets to a career high with a quarterfinal effort in Montpellier that included a win over No. 30 Hubert Hurkacz. He gets Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of Rotterdam).
Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN): No. 61 ========> No. 54 (Nishioka made the quarters in Singapore).
Alexei Popyrin (AUS): No. 114 ========> No. 82 (The 21-year-old Aussie reaches a career high and wins his first career title in Singapore).
Federico Coria (ARG): No. 95 ========> No. 85 (The quarterfinal victim of Cerúndolo, Coria reaches a career high. He defeated Cerúndolo’s older brother Francisco, ranked No. 135, in the second round. Coria also made the quarters at a Challenger in Concepción the previous week).
Facundo Bagnis (ARG): No. 130 ========> No. 115
Mackenzie McDonald (USA): No. 139 ========> No. 118 (The 25-year-old American won the Challenger in Nur-Sultan with the loss of just one set. That comes off the back of a fourth-round effort at the Australian Open. He came into the Grand Slam event at No. 180. So it’s been a great start to the season).
Steven Diez (CAN): No. 190 ========> No. 172 (He’s a ways away from his career high, but making the final at the Gran Canaria Challenger helped Diez’s numbers this week).
Juan Manuel Cerúndolo (ARG): No. 335 ========> No. 181 (The unlikely hero of the Cordoba Open cut his ranking nearly in half. It’ll be fascinating to watch him this week in Buenos Aires, where he has a special-exempt, and even in the French Open qualifying in May).
Enzo Couacaud (FRA): No. 216 ========> No. 187 (The 26-year-old – it’s his birthday March 1 – champion in Gran Canaria makes a nice leap back into the top 200).
Matthew Ebden (AUS): No. 316 ========> No. 285 (The 33-year-old, whose career high of No. 39 came just over two years ago and who has been at this 15 years, beat countryman John Millman (No. 39) on his way to a quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Popyrin in Singapore. He’s also 8-3 on the season in doubles with John-Patrick Smith. and has raised his ranking from No. 118 to No. 73).
Christian Harrison (USA): No. 350 ========> No. 330 (Harrison, who went from the qualies to the semis in Delray Beach in early January, won a $25,000 ITF in Naples, Fla. last week. He was at No. 739 going into the season).
(Editors’ note: A lot of stories went unwritten here on Open Court during the Australian Open. It was a matter of priorities: first TV work, then radio and if there was time left over, posting here.
With the expenses involved in travelling, we had to prioritize the revenue streams. Open Court is earning increasingly good revenue from Google ads. But it can always improve. Clicking on a couple of ads whenever you read a post will help increase that – and thus move it up on the priority chain in future events. Thank you for reading!)