May 16, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

ATP Rankings Report – As of Dec. 6, 2021

(Peter Staples/USTA)

The “main” tennis season is really, truly, finally over with the crowning of Russia as the Davis Cup champions for 2021.

It took what felt like a month to do it. But the team that was loaded up and had all of its top players answer the bell had only a few tense moments on its way to the title.

The next thing to look at is who is going to get directly into to the Australian Open.

The deadline is Monday – with the rankings we see here.

A year ago, the ranking cutoff for the main draw was No. 104 at the deadline; by the time the qualifying rolled around, it was down to No. 117.

But it was (so far) more complicated a year ago.

This year, except for those few (we expect) that declined to get vaccinated in order to enter the country, you’d expect a pretty full field.

Here’s who is on the bubble.

It’s no surprise that players like Feliciano Lopez (age 40) have been playing quite a few Challengers late in the season to try to get in under the wire. Lopez didn’t get all that far (and he ended up playing the Davis Cup finals), but he could squeeze in.

Oscar Otte, who has done it the hard way in qualifying in 2021, looks to have secured his spot in the main draw. And well done to him.

Another one who has been hustling is 24-year-old Franco-American Maxime Cressy, who moved up 10 spots to a career high No. 112 with another Challenger title last week. He’s played the last six weeks in a row. He might make it.

We’ve added their rankings in mid-October, as they began their quest to get down to the wire. Notable are some of the most established players, who had been in the top 100 and dropped down – and may end up having to play the qualifying.

There were no changes in the top 70.

For the full ATP Tour rankings picture this week, click here.

= Career high

ON THE UPSWING

Maxime Cressy (USA): No. 122 ========>No. 112 (The 24-year-old won the Forli Challenger last week, and has done about as much as he could to try to get straight into Melbourne. He made the final in Eckental and Ortisei earlier in the month, and has played seven of the last eight weeks. In two of the tournaments (Ismaning and Ortisel), he lost to Oscar Otte – who was going after the same pot of gold he was, and will end up being able to collect).

Jurij Rodionov (AUT): No. 141 ========>No. 135 (Rodionov, 22, is hovering around his career high, helped by reaching the semis of the Forli Challenger in Italy last week).

Nicolas Jarry (CHI): No. 160 ========>No. 146 (Ranked a career-high No. 38 as recently as July 2019, the 26-year-old began from far back after serving a doping suspension. But he has played basically everything he can. And after making the semis at the Sao Paolo Challenger last week, he’s up as high as he’s been since his return. He’s played 23 events this year, mostly in South America. At the start of 2021, he had no ranking. He first reappeared Feb. 22, at No. 1165. He has moved up more than 1,000 spots).

Nicolas Jarry

Nuno Borges (POR): No. 253 ========>No. 228 (Borges, 24, likely would have squeezed into the Australian Open qualies. But with a win at the small Challenger in Antalya, Turkey last week, he assured himself of doing just that and reaches a career high. It will be his Grand Slam debut).

Matthias Bachinger (GER): No. 256 ========>No. 231 (The 34-year-old German’s career high came a decade ago, at No. 85. But he’s still out there grinding. He did what Borges, did, basically, by reaching the Forli Challenger final).

Juan Pablo Ficovich (ARG): No. 285 ========>No. 232 (Ficovich vaulted up more than 50 spots after winning the Sao Paolo Challenger. And he should be in Melbourne, too).

Ryan Peniston (GBR): No. 286 ========>No. 264 (The little-known 26-year-old Brit began the season at No. 378 and has had an encouraging season, culminating in the run to the Antalya Challenger final last week. He’s at a career high after spending 2014-18 starring at the University of Memphis).

Luciano Darderi (ITA): No. 443 ========>No. 341 (Another Italian teenager looks to have promise, as Darderi also is at a career high in doubles at No. 287. He’s been grinding it out on the South American Challenger circuit, and went from the qualifying to the finals at the Sao Paulo Challenger last week).

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ON THE DOWNSWING

Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP): No. 74 ========>No. 79 (Carballes Baena hasn’t played since the Paris Masters. So he’s been dropping points from the Challengers he played in 2020 – notably his finals effort from a year ago, at the Challenger in Campinas, Brazil).

Roberto Carballes Baena

Carlos Taberner (ESP): No. 101 ========>No. 111 (Taberner, who reached a career high of N0. 93 in late October, might have cost himself a spot in the Australian Open main draw by not playing last week. He earned 152 points at the 2020 Challenger in Maia, Portugal, where he reached the final. You wonder if he did the math, or if he wasn’t feeling great physically and just decided to let the rankings flow where they may).

Francisco Cerundolo (ARG): No. 114 ========>No. 127 (Cerundolo, 23, watched his brother Juan Manuel leap over him this year, and even play the Next-Gen final. The older brother, ranked a career high No. 103 back in September – which would have gotten him into Melbourne – didn’t play last week and thus didn’t defend the point he earned a year ago, winning the Campinas Challenger).

(Pete Staples/USTA)

Pedro Sousa (POR): No. 145 ========>No. 173 (Sousa, 33, finally broke into the top 100 and reached his career high of No. 99 at age 30, in Feb. 2019. He hasn’t played since the US Open, and has dropped points from a pair of finals in Challengers during the fall season – and 80 points from winning the Challenger in Maia, Portugal a year ago).

Juan Martin del Potro (ARG): No. 751 ========>No. 753 (He’s still in the rankings, which is a mind-blower, really. So we just thought we’d point that out).

The Canadians

20-year-old Taha Baadi, who is playing college tennis after spending one year in the national program in Montreal, jumps nearly 100 spots after making the semifinal at an ITF in Guatemala two weeks ago. He made the semis the week before that, too, at a $25K in Columbus, Ohio. They were only his second and third pro events of the season.

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