A hybrid week with grass in Newport and clay in Bastad produced a couple of unexpected winners.
American Maxime Cressy – as French as you can be without the passport – won his first career title on a surface that suits his throwback side to a “T”.
And Sebastian Baez, the No. 8 seed, wins in Bastad over a quality field.
There is no change in the top 15, some of whom (Alcaraz, Berrettini) return this coming week for the first time since Wimbledon. Jannik Sinner was due to return in Hamburg, but pulled out late, citing the ankle injury he suffered at Wimbledon.
The rankings are a little wonky with the week’s difference between Hamburg last year, and Hamburg this year in a non-Olympic year. So things might well spring right back in a week’s time.
ON THE UPSWING
Denis Shapovalov (CAN): No. 23 ========> No. 21 (Shapovalov was idle, but others dropped just enough to help him move up two slots).
Francisco Cerundolo (ARG): No. 39========> No. 30 (He is probably not the guy you were expecting in the top 30 this year. But the 23-year-old wins his firsr career title in Bastad. And moves to a career best).
Maxime Cressy (USA): No. 41 ========> No. 33 (Cressy, who made noise by upsetting Félix Auger-Aliassime in the first round at Wimbledon, comes to the Newport grass and beats Johnson and Isner in three sets, before coming back from a 2-6 first set to edge out Alexander Bublik in a third-set tiebreak in the final. At 25, it’s his first title and a career high).
Andy Murray (GBR): No. 52 ========> No. 50 (It’s symbolic, more than anything. But Murray’s quarterfinal effort in Newport gets him back into the top 50. He was there one week – at No. 47, after Roland Garros. It’s territory he hasn’t occuped for more than four years).
Steve Johnson (USA): No. 95=======> No. 85 (Johnson made the quarterfinals in Newport, losing to eventual winner Cressy. He also won the doubles with William Blumbert over top seeds Klaasen and Melo in the final. So a good week overall).
Luciano Darderi (ITA): No. 215 ========> No. 182 (The 20-year-old Italian – feels like there are a fair few of those – breaks into the top 200 with a semifinal effort at a Challenger in Iasi, Romania. Darderi has been racking them up on the Challenger tour’s European clay. He’s 12-4 in his last four events in singles. And he’s 10-1 in his last three events in doubles, with two titles and a career high of No. 107).
Yibing Wu (CHN): No. 329========> No. 233 (Wu, 22, moves up nearly 100 spots with his victory at the Challenger in Rome, Ga. last week. It should be plenty enough to get him into US Open qualifying. He didn’t drop a set. And it’s a career high)..
Francesco Maestrelli (ITA): No. 337 ========> No. 237 (You guessed it – another young Italian, this one just 19, moves up to a career high after going from the qualifying to the title at the Verona Challenger. He defeated Gilles Simon along the way and is 14-2 in his last three Challenger events).
Dominic Thiem (AUT): No. 339 ========> No. 274 (Thiem is making headway with his true ranking. But more than that, his week in Bastad was good for his tennis soul with tough three-set wins over Ruusuvuori and Bautista Agut, both top 50 players. He was beaten in three sets by Baez).
Ben Shelton (USA): No. 433 ========> No. 323 (A rise of 100 spots in the rankings for 19-year-old American Ben Shelton, who went from the qualifying to the finals at the Rome Challenger. Needless to say, it’s a career high. It was just Shelton’s third pro event of the season after starring for the Florida Gators and winning the 2022 NCAA singles title as a sophomore; he reached the semifinals at one in Little Rock in early June. He came into that one ranked No. 547, so he’s munching chunks out of the rankings list).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP): No. 18 ========> No. 23 (Carreno Busta made the semis in Bastad, losing to eventual champ Baez. But a year ago he won the 500 in Hamburg. He can make up some of those points this week, as Hamburg is a week later).
Jenson Brooksby (USA): No. 33 ========> No. 41 (Brooksby took a pass on Newport, where he reached the final a year ago. He has another big chunk of points to defend in a few weeks, from his run to the semifinals at the Citi Open).
Filip Krajinovic (SRB): No. 30 ========> No. 43 (The 30-year-old Serb didn’t play this week, and watches his points from a run to the finals in Hamburg a year ago drop. He can try to make them up in Hamburg this week).
Laslo Djere (SRB): No. 53 ========> No. 69 (Djere made the quarters in Bastad, but drops semifinal points from Hamburg a year ago. He’s in Hamburg this week, but is defending points from last year’s semifinal run in Gstaad).
Cristian Garin (CHI): No. 56 ========> No. 70 (Garin had a far better than expected Wimbledon, where he reached the quarterfinals before being beaten by Nick Kyrgios. So it’s not surprising he took last week off. But he drops some points. On the plus side, he has almost nothing to defend for the rest of the season. So it’s all uphill).
Benoit Paire (FRA): No. 77 ========> No. 92 (Paire, 3-17 on the season and a first-round loser in five of his last six events, didn’t play last week. So his quarterfinal points from Hamburg 2021 fall off. He’ll drop another 45 this week from his quarterfinal in Gstaad a year ago).
Federico Delbonis (ARG): No. 84 ========> No. 125 (Tough timing for Delbonis, who qualified but lost in the first round of Bastad last week. But his semifinal points from Hamburg a year ago fall off. And so he’s looking at the qualifying at the US Open. Not that he has huge expectations there, but it’s still a good paycheque for losing in the first round of the main draw).
ROAD TO TURIN
ROAD TO MILAN
With eight of the top 17 in the Next-Gen finals race Italians, might as well just make it a local competition – especially as the top four are unlikely to play.