The Citi Open in Washington, D.C. was a grind this week in the sense that even if there wasn’t some of the typical torrential downpours, it was hot and sticky and there were a lot of marathons.
Special guest Rafael Nadal’s stay wasn’t as long as they’d hoped. But he did his job by winning a round and creating a lot of buzz around the tournament, which opened up to 100 per cent attendance. What he didn’t do was help his ranking situation vis-à-vis Stefanos Tsitsipas.
It was … too many people. But you know … Americans will American. Hopefully there are no lasting effects.
Meanwhile, Nadal referred to Daniil Medvedev and Tsitsipas as the No. 2 and No. 3 players in the world during his pre-tournament press over the weekend. He was ahead of the curve.
Nadal has an impressive ability to know exactly where the points are the ATP Tour.
In the new rankings, Tsitsipas IS No. 3 – 800 points ahead of Nadal as they both begin their National Bank Open campaigns. Which gives you some insight as to why Nadal was motivated to playing the Citi Open for the first time, in addition to the other good reasons. The 2019 points from the Canadian event dropped off, so many of the drops can be made up if the players concerned can post a good result this week.
ON THE UPSWING
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE): No. 4 =========> No. 3 (He didn’t do a single thing. But Tsitsipas has moved up to a career high No. 3 in the world after he’s added 115 points, and Nadal has dropped 955).
Jannik Sinner (ITA): No. 24 =========> No. 15 (Sinner wins the biggest tournament of his career at the ATP 500 in D.C. the hard way, with a marathon victory over Mackenzie McDonald in which he broke him at 5-6 in the third set to claim the title. A top-16 seed at the US Open will give him a better draw, and won’t bother the higher-ranked players one bit either).
Reilly Opelka (USA): No. 36 =========> No. 32 (The tall American might have squeezed himself into a seeded spot at Flushing Meadows by making the third round in Washington).
Kei Nishikori (JPN): No. 67 =========> No. 55 (His protected ranking is No. 10, but the 31-year-old helped himself get closer to it by making the Citi Open semifinals).
Mackenzie McDonald (USA): No. 107 =========> No. 64 (He’s still seven off a career high reached before he tore his hamstring and missed more than a year. But he gave Sinner everything he could handle in the Citi Open final. And you would think he stands in good stead for a wild card at the US Open. He already was able to get a special exempt into Toronto this week – assuming he has ANY gas left in the tank).
Denis Kudla (USA): No. 103 =========> No. 90 (After a good effort on the grass, a quarterfinals in D.C. gets the 28-year-old back to the top 100).
Jenson Brooksby (USA): No. 130 =========> No. 97 (The Summer of Jenson continues, as the 20-year-old squeezes into the top 100 by a couple of points after making the Citi Open semifinals. He has a wild card into Toronto this week).
Alex Molcan (SVK): No. 153 =========> No. 136 (The tennis universe rolls on outside the North American hard courts. And Molcan, 23, reaches a career high by winning the Challenger in Liberec).
Jack Sock (USA): No. 192 =========> No. 185 (With the tennis Sock showed in D.C., he can keep moving back up the charts if he finds the playing opportunities).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Rafael Nadal (ESP): No. 3 =========> No. 4 (The weeks are a bit staggered, and Nadal drops the 1,000 points he earned by winning the Rogers Cup in 2019, and adds the 45 he got for making the third round of the Citi Open in 2021. Got that straight? The result is that the Spaniard dropps way behind Tsitsipas and into the No. 4 spot, even if Tsitsipas has 29 tournaments on his rankings record and Nadal, only 17).
Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP): No. 16 =========> No. 18
Gaël Monfils (FRA): No. 17 =========> No. 24 (Monfils was a semifinalist in Montreal in 2019, losing to Nadal by walkover).
Karen Khachanov (RUS): No. 25 =========> No. 29
Fabio Fognini (ITA): No. 32 =========> No. 37 (Fognini is another player who drops, after his quarter-final result in Montreal in 2019).
Nick Kyrgios (AUS): No. 77 =========> No. 80
Feliciano Lopez (ESP): No. 92 =========> No. 99 Guido Pella (ARG): No. 85 =========> No. 102 (Pella is out of the top 100 for the first time in X. But he has a protected ranking he can use if need be).
Kyle Edmund (GBR): No. 94 =========> No. 104 (When will the Brit be back?)
Road to Milan
Road to Turin
(Screenshots from TennisTV)