This is the week that Novak Djokovic breaks the mark for weeks at the No. 1 ranking spot, held for a long time by Roger Federer at 310 weeks.
Djokovic is now at 311 weeks. And he’s likely to put that mark out of reach for generations before he’s done.
It’s a huge achievement.
Meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas’s effort in Rotterdam eases him past Roger Federer by a small margin of 30 points, and into the No. 5 spot in the rankings.
But things are going to move there a little bit as the 1,000 points from Federer’s 2019 Indian Wells title are – per the latest incarnation of the pandemic rules – going to drop in a week.
But he’s back, even though this week is only a 250-level event. Still, that drop will put him within striking distance of Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev in the weeks to come.
That said, the notion that Federer will remain in the top 10 for … a long time to come is probably the biggest reason that the current rankings – which won’t fully be back to normal before the 2022 Cincinnati tournament – are not to be taken very seriously.
ON THE UPSWING
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE): No. 6 =========> No. 5 (That ties the career high the 22-year-old Greek first reached in Aug. 2019).
Borna Coric (CRO): No. 26 =========> No. 24 (The former No. 12 had a great opportunity to make the Rotterdam final, but came up with a bit of a stinker against qualifier Marton Fucsovics in the semis).
Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB): No. 42 =========> No. 38 (The 21-year-old, who’s been working with former No. 3 David Nalbandian, hits a career high after his efforts on the South American swing. He did pull out of this week’s finale in Santiago, though).
Kei Nishikori (JPN): No. 45 =========> No. 40 (Nishikori’s performance in eliminating No. 7 seed Félix Auger-Aliassime in the first round of Rotterdam wasn’t a one-off, as he displayed some of the form that got him to the top 10 before injuries hit).
Marton Fucsovics (HUN): No. 59 =========> No. 46 (A great week’s work to go from the qualifying to the final in Rotterdam).
Tommy Paul (USA): No. 56 =========> No. 51 (Paul’s road to the top 50 has been … slowish. But he’s close now after a quarterfinal in Rotterdam. He is tied with Richard Gasquet, who is No. 50, with 1,155 points).
Jérémy Chardy (FRA): No. 64 =========> No. 54 (At 34, Chardy has come out in 2021 playing the tennis of a man a decade younter).
Francisco Cerúndolo (ARG): No. 137 =========> No. 125 (The older brother of last week’s sensation, Juan Manuel, couldn’t quite go all the way in Buenos Aires as he was thumped by Diego Schwartzman in the final. Still, what a fortnight for the Cerúndolo family. The Juan Manuel has a wild card into Santiago this week, while Francisco gets in with a special exempt. They are – just in case this matters – in opposite halves of the draw).
Andy Murray (GBR): No. 123 =========> No. 116 (No matter what all the anonymous chirpers on social media say, Murray has our vote to continue fighting on for as long as he feels like it).
Tomas Machac (CZE): No. 165 =========> No. 137 (The 20-year-old from the Czech Republic – the other half of older woman Barbora Krecjikova – is at a career high as she has quietly begun winning matches the last six months. Machac qualified at Roland Garros despite coming in with a ranking of No. 253 and took Taylor Fritz to five sets in the first round. He then went 13-5 on the Challenger circuit to finish the season. He qualidied and reached the second round at the Australian Open. And last week, he won the big Challenger in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan to leap nearly 30 mote spots).
Sebastian Ofner (AUT): No. 171 =========> No. 152
Kimmer Coppejans (BEL): No. 185 =========> No. 165 (The 27-year-old, who won the French Open juniors in 2012, has been up and down between 100 and 200 most of the last few years – with a brief peek into the top 100 at No. 97 back in 2015. He reached the final at the Gran Canaria Challenger last week – losing to a Spanish played ranked No. 400 in the final).
Carlos Gimeno Valero (ESP): No. 405 =========> No. 295 (Too soon to call him another rising star in Spanish tennis. But the 19-year-old leaps more than 100 spots with his win at the Gran Canaria Challenger last week).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Roger Federer (SUI): No. 5 =========> No. 6 (He’s baaaaaaack. So let’s see what he can do).
Kyle Edmund (GBR): No. 52 =========> No. 56 (Edmund has played very little tennis, as he’s entered a lot of tournaments this year and pulled out of all of them. He lost six of his seven matches in 2020 after the restart, and has yet to start his 2021 season).
Tennys Sandgren (USA): No. 53 =========> No. 58
Sam Querrey (USA): No. 55 =========> No. 60
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