LONDON – If it’s hard enough to win an ATP Tour title, it’s an even bigger challenge to defend that title.
And Matteo Berrettini, who missed the clay-court season because of surgery to his right hand, is trying to make up for lost time.
Berrettini won his return in Stuttgart at the Boss Open – his clothing sponsor, as it happens. And he backed it up with a win at Queen’s Club on Sunday.
The Italian is one of those affected most by the decision by the ATP and WTA Tours to strip Wimbledon of its ranking points, because of the club’s decision to ban Russians and Belarussians this year.
Berrettini made the singles final a year ago.
Just five of the top 20 – Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Denis Shapovalov and the two Spaniards in Mallorca (Carreño Busta and Roberto Bautista Agut) are in action this week.
ON THE UPSWING
Hubert Hurkacz: No. 12 ========> No. 10 (Hurkacz is back into the top 10 after beating Daniil Medvedev in the Halle final. And, with that result, he drops Queen’s Club champion Berrettini just out of the top 10 at No. 11).
Botic van de Zandschulp (NED): No. 29 ========> No. 26 (Another career high for the phlegmatic Dutchman, as he reaches the Queen’s Club semifinal).
Filip Krajinovic (SRB): No. 48 ========> No. 31 (Krajinovic puts himself in a position to be seeded at Wimbledon with his first grass-court final, which came in the same week of the 30-year-old’s first grass-court main-draw victory, period. He’s just five away from his career best, reached four years ago).
Oscar Otte (GER): No. 51 ========> No. 37 (Otte made hay both on grass, and in Germany the last few weeks and breaks into the top 40 for the first time. He made the semifinals in both Stuttgart and Halle, losing to champion Matteo Berrettini in Stuttgart and world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev in Halle).
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP): No. 44 ========> No. 38 (The Spaniard beat Albert Ramos-Viñolas and Alex de Minaur at Queen’s Club before losing to Van de Zandschulp).
Nick Kyrgios (AUS): No. 65 ========> No. 45 (Another good effort on grass for Kyrgios, who fell short of being seeded with his semifinal effort in Halle but ensured that top players will be carefully watching the draw to see where he might end up in the first round).
Sam Querrey (USA): No. 121 ========> No. 99 (Querrey qualified and made the second round in London, squeezing back into the top 100 by a couple of points if only for a brief moment, as he drops 225 points next week. He was No. 11 in the world just four years ago).
Jack Sock (USA): No. 129 ========> No. 102 (Sock would be well within range of a main draw spot at Wimbledon with his new ranking, as he reached the final in Ilkley. Had he won that, he’d have gotten a main-draw wild card too. But it came a few weeks too late and he begins in the qualifying against Andrea Collarini on Monday).
Vasek Pospisil (CAN): No. 133 ========> No. 125 (Pospisil won a match at Ilkley last week as he returned to action after an elbow injury. But he’ll drop right back down this week as more points drop off. He’s in the Wimbledon qualifying for the first time since his first effort in 2011, and plays 19-year-old Dalibor Svrcina. Surprisingly, the 2014 doubles champion (with Sock) has never done well there in singles – save for that one great year in 2015 when he made the quarterfinals, he has never won back-to-back matches).
Zizou Bergs (BEL): No. 207 ========> No. 146 (Bergs wins the Challenger in Ilkley – and with that, comes a wild card into the Wimbledon main draw, where he’ll make his debut. It’s a career high for him).
Ryan Peniston (GBR): No. 180 ========> No. 147 (The late-blooming Brit, 26, reaches another career high with his effort at Queen’s as a wild card).
Borna Coric (CRO): No. 255 ========> No. 203 (A nice move by the returning 25-year-old, who won the clay-court challenger in Parma, Italy last week).
Stan Wawrinka (SUI): No. 290 ========> No. 265 (Wawrinka is chipping away at his “actual” ranking, and looked pretty good at Queen’s this week. He has a wild card into Wimbledon, but of course that won’t do him a bit of good in that endeavour).
Luca Van Assche (FRA): No. 383 ========> No. 319 (The 18-year-old, who won the Roland Garros juniors in 2021, moves up to a career high after going from the qualifying to the semifinals at the Blois Challenger).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Alex de Minaur (AUS): No. 21 ========> No. 24 (De Minaur made teh semifinals at Queen’s Club last year, but lost in the second round this year. He also won Eastbourne a year ago, so that’s some more points dropping off his ranking in a week unless he can do something).
David Goffin (BEL): No. 39 ========> No. 58 (Goffin loses first round in Halle this year, and the points from his 2019 final – a loss to Roger Federer – finally come off his ranking. He beat Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini on the way to that final, which must seem a long time ago).
Roger Federer (SUI): No. 68========> No. 96 (Federer drops 250 old points from a title in Halle back in the day, but will remain in the top 100 until Wimbledon is over).
Ugo Humbert (FRA): No. 50 ========> No. 103 (Humbert, who has struggled this year, is out of the top 100 after dropping his points from winning Halle over Andreu Rublev a year ago. He also beat Auger-Aliassime, Korda, Zverev and Querrey that week. He’ll drop another 10 ranking spots next week, too. Umbert was at a career high of No. 25 exactly a year ago).
Gilles Simon (FRA): No. 126 ========> No. 163 (In his final year, Simon is slogging away, dropping 37 spots as the points from making the Queen’s Club final in 2019 fall away. Meanwhile, he lost to No. 431, Brit Charles Broom, in the first round of the Ilkley Challenger last week. Simon was one of the players whose image was blown up around Queen’s Club who was … not there last week).
Feliciano Lopez (ESP): No. 122 ========> No. 214 (Lopez drops points from his surprising win at Queen’s Club in 2019, finally).
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA): No. 170 ========> No. 218 (Herbert’s decision to remain unvaccinated and skip the Australian swing has definitely hurt his entire year, as he drops his Halle semis points from 2019. His doubles ranking also has dropped to No. 25. Herbert retired in the Ilkley quarterfinals after beating Pospisil in the second round).
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER): No. 168 ========> No. 230 (Kohlschreiber’s points from a Halle quarterfinal a year ago drop, but the 38-year-old is still grinding away, and will be in the Wimbledon qualifying this week).
Alex Bolt (AUS): No. 202 ========> No. 306 (The 29-year-old Aussie, who hasn’t played since Miami, drops point from going from the qualifying to the title at the Nottingham Challenger a year ago).
Milos Raonic (CAN): No. 281 ========> No. 328 (Old points from Queen’s drop, as Raonic remains off the grid).