Last week was an official Davis Cup week. So even though most of the top players weren’t even playing in the Group I and Group II qualifiers (and there are no ranking points for Davis Cup anyway), there were no ATP Tour events.
The main Tour is back this week in Metz and Nur-Sultan.
Meanwhile, though, there were five Challenger tournaments. So there was plenty of movement below the top ranks, but no changes in the top 30.
ON THE UPSWING
Benjamin Bonzi (FRA): No. 76 ========> 61 (After his ouster in the second round of the US Open qualifying, as the No. 1 seed and ranked No. 94, Bonzi jetted back to France. On a roll, he’s won three straight Challengers in St-Tropez, Cassis and Rennes and moved to a career high. Bonzi already had three Challenger titles in 2021, so he’s doing it the hard way).
James Duckworth (AUS): No. 80 ========> No. 65 (At 29, the Aussie reaches a career high after winning the Challenger in Istanbul, Turkey, last week. The Aussies have pretty much been vagabonds in 2021, unable to go home, really. So some of them have made the best of and worked on climbing up the charts. Duckworth also qualified and beat Taylor Fritz and Jannik Sinner on his way to the third round in Toronto earlier in the summer).
Zdenek Kolar (CZE): No. 185 ========> No. 149 (Inside the top 150 and a career high for the 24-year-old Czech, coached by his namesake father. He wins the Challenger in Szczecin, Poland over home-country favorite Kamil Majchrzak in the final).
Mitchell Krueger (USA): No. 182 ========> No. 156 (The 27-year-old, who has toiled long and hard mostly on the Challenger circuit, won the Cary Challenger last week over Bjorn Fratangelo in the final. It’s a career high for him).
ON THE DOWNSWING
John Millman (AUS): No. 43 ========> No. 48
Benoit Paire (FRA): No. 48 ========> No. 53 (Out of the top 50 again after his points from a semifinal effort in Metz in 2019 drop off … He is in Kazakhstan this week – randomly – perhaps figuring the field would be weaker).
Jaume Munar (ESP): No. 64 ========> No. 71
Gianluca Mager (ITA): No. 66 ========> No. 78 (Mager had some points from a Challenger in Biella, Italy in 2019 drop off. He won that one, but didn’t play last week at all).
Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN): No. 74 ========> No. 84 (The 22-year-old Finn, who played Davis Cup last weekend, won a Challenger in Glasgow, Scotland on this ranking week in 2019. He has some big points coming up at the end of October, too, as the result from last year’s Nur-Sultan ATP Tour event come up for renewal. Ruusuvuori qualified and reached the semis there. And another 80 points from a Challenger title in Helsinki in Nov. 2019. So it’s a fairly key time in his young career).
Aljaz Bedene (SLO): No. 79 ========> No. 92 (Bedene reached the finals of the tournament in Metz, France in 2019, losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final. Those drop off for him).
Carlos Taberner (ESP): No. 102 ========> No. 117 (The 24-year-old drops from a career high reached last week, after he doesn’t defend points wom at a Challenger in Iasi, Romana last fall).
Lucas Pouille (FRA): No. 128 ========> No. 142 (The 27-year-old former world No. 10 is trying to come back from injury. But it’s tough sledding so far. He mitigated the damage somewhat by making the quarterfinals in Rennes last week and the final in Cassis the week before that. But the semifinal in Metz in 2019 drops off).
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA): No. 113 ========> No. 153 (One of the last vestigial rankings chunks comes off for Tsonga, who won the Metz tournament in 2019. He has a quarterfinal from the Paris Masters dropping off next month, which will also hurt. He’s trying to play. But he has lost in the first round in seven of his eight tournaments this season. Only a first-round win over Feliciano Lopez, who is even older, saves him from a blank sheet. Tsonga hasn’t played since Wimbledon. And even though he announced his withdrawal from Metz this week quite late, not sure it was even a consideration that he would play).
Peter Polansky (CAN) No. 232 ========> No. 281 (Tough blow for the 33-year-old, as the points from winning the Columbus Challenger back in 2019 drop off. Polansky lost in the first round of the Cary Challenger last week to Ryan Penniston, so he couldn’t back up those points. On the plus side, his doubles ranking moved up 10 spots by making the final. But that won’t help pay the bills much).
Road to Turin
Road to Milan