July 11, 2024

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ATP Rankings Report – as of Jan. 30, 2023

MELBOURNE, Australia – The end of a major always brings some pretty wild rankings swings.

Some people don’t defend a great results and plunge. Others have a great result and soar.

In this particular situation, with world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz out of the Australian Open with injury, it turned out that two players who could get to No. 1 by winning the event and dislodge him from that spot were in the final.

Would it be Stefanos Tsitsipas? Or would it be Novak Djokovic, who already was the No. 1 in all but official rankings.

And now, he has that, too.

ON THE UPSWING

Novak Djokovic (SRB): No. 5 =========> No. 1 (An exhausting month in Australia both mentally and physically leaves Djokovic where he rightfully belongs – at the top of the heap at No. 1. Tsistipas could have gone to No. 1 with the win; as it stands, he’s No. 3 behind Alcaraz).

Tommy Paul  (USA): No. 35 =========> No. 19 (One spot out of being seeded in Melbourne – which might have made his whole draw look different – Paul is now in the top 20 for the first time in his career after his great run to the semifinals).

Sebastian Korda (USA): No. 31 =========> No. 26 (It feels like Korda’s run should have been worth more than five spots in the rankings. He moved up two after making the Adelaide final, and another five after making the AO quarters. It’s 510 points, but the higher you get, the more you have to earn to move up. He also had 90 to defend from his third-round run in Melbourne a year ago. Still, it’s a career high).

Jiri Lehecka  (CZE): No. 71 =========> No. 39 (Great run for the 21-year-old Czech, who reached the QFs by upsetting No. 6 seed Félix Auger-Aliassime and had a breakthrough tournament. This puts him in the main draw of Masters 1000 like Rome and Madrid and for the foreseeable future, which is a game changer and an opportunity to rise even more).

David Goffin (BEL): No. 50 =========> No. 41 (Goffin was a late scratch from the AO after playing the United Cup and Auckland. He went home and played a €145,000  Challenger in Belgium and won it to move up).

Ben Shelton (USA): No. 89 =========> No. 44 (Shelton, whose late run on the Challenger circuit last fall got him straight into the Australian Open, made the most of it by getting to the quarterfinals, before being stopped by countryman Paul. He cut his ranking in half, and that area of the rankings will be a game-changer for him in terms of getting straight into the Masters 1000 tournaments).

J.J. Wolf  (USA): No. 67 =========> No. 48 (He cut up lucky loser Michael Mmoh, and took Shelton to five sets in the fourth round before bowing out. He’s inside the top 50 for the first time. And that makes 10 Americans inside the top 50. Which is worth noting).

Andy Murray  (GBR): No. 66 =========> No. 64 (All that effort and drama in Melbourne, and it was only worth two ranking spots to Sir Andy).

Michael Mmoh (USA): No. 107 ========> No. 83 (Mmoh had a “lucky” Aussie swing, and finds himself in the top 100 and at a career high. He lost to Aleksandar Vukic in the final round of qualifying, got past qualifier Laurent Lokoli in a match where Lokoli won the first two sets and had match point in the third-set tiebreak – on the hot day where play was stopped – beat Alexander Zverev and bowed out in the third round of the main draw).

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Ugo Humbert  (FRA): No. 106 =========> No. 86 (The former No. 25, still just 24, has made it back inside the top 100, after a whole lot of effort. He defeated Richard Gasquet and lucky loser Denis Kudla before falling to Holger Rune in the third round of the Melbourne main draw – and after having gone winless in the tune-up tournaments).

Alexei Popyrin (AUS): No. 113 =========> No. 90 (Popyrin, 23, will remember this Aussie summer forever. So many great moments for him).

Christopher Eubanks (USA): No. 116 =========> No. 103 (The 26-year-old American, a former college star, has toiled in the Challengers quite a bit trying to make it at the top level of the pros. And here he is just points from the top 100 after qualifying and making the second round in Auckland, and beating Kwon Soonwoo in the first round at the Australian Open before falling in four to Lehecka. A 20-spot jump, and a career high).

Nicolas Jarry  (CHI): No. 154 =========> No. 126 (Jarry, 27, was at a career high of No. 38 in July 2019 when the roof caved in. He has played a ton after having to rebuild his career from almost nothing, after a doping suspension and the pandemic. He qualified in Melbourne and made the second round).

Rinky Hijikata (AUS): No. 169 ========> No. 149 (Not only is Hijikata the new Australian Open men’s doubles champion with Jason Kubler, he also made a nice move in singles as well by winning his first round in Melbourne in five sets over Yannick Hanfmann, before Stefanos Tsitsipas gave him a lesson in the second round. He moved up from 277 to No. 35 in doubles by winning that title).

Geoffrey Blancaneaux (FRA): No. 173 =========> No. 150 (Blancaneaux was the young French kid who defeated both Denis Shapovalov and Félix Auger-Aliassime to win the juniors at Roland Garros in 2016. They’ve both already been in the top 10; it took Blancaneaux, now 24, until last fall even to get into the top 150. He’s back in after making the semis in Qumper. But now the trick is to stay there. No one said it was a free ride, that’s for sure).

Brandon Holt  (USA): No. 215 =========> No. 191 (The former college player and son of tennis legend Tracy Austin is into the top 200 for the first time, at age 24. He qualified in Melbourne against some good players, beat fellow qualifier Aleksandar Vukic in five, and then lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in five – after leading two sets to none, too. It’s a great rise; a year ago at the start of the Australian Open, he was ranked No. 924).

ON THE DOWNSWING

Rafael Nadal (ESP): No. 2 =========> No. 6 (Nadal didn’t defend his 2022 AO title, obviousy, and so drops nearly 2,000 points. Had Félix Auger-Aliassime won one more round and matched his 2022 quarterfinal, he would have dropped below the Canadian as well. He looks to be out 6-8 weeks with a left hip flexor injury).

Daniil Medvedev (RUS): No. 8 =========> No. 12 (Last year’s AO finalist is out of the top 10).

Marin Cilic (CRO): No. 18 =========> No. 21 (Cilic was a fairly late scratch from the AO, and went back home to have knee surgery).

Matteo Berrettini  (ITA): No. 14 =========> No. 22 (One of the stars of the Netflix reality series went out in the first round to Andy Murray after leading two sets to none, and drops out of the top 20 with it. A year ago after the Australian Open, he was at a career high No. 6.

Denis Shapovalov (CAN): No. 22 =========> No. 27 (Shapovalov’s ranking is going in the wrong direction, and he’s much better than No. 27. But he has to figure out a way to turn that round and show it. He gave No. 10 seed Hubert Hurkacz a big battle in the third round of the Australian Open, pushing him to five after losing the first two sets. But couldn’t come all the way back).

Maxime Cressy  (FRA): No. 41=========> No. 54 (Cressy fell in the second round to Holger Rune, after making the fourth round a year ago on the heels of a quarterfinal in Sydkey, and a final at the other ATP 250 in Melbourne to start the season. This year, he came out of the Aussie summer with just one win).

Aslan Karatsev  (RUS): No. 82 =========> No. 98 (It wasn’t long ago that Karatsev came out of the Australian Open a new star on the rise, after so many years in obscurity. A year ago he hit his career high of No. 14. He’s slowly been sliding back that way since then. He made a semi in Pune on his way to Australia, but lost in the first round to Grigor Dimitrov in Melbourne. A year ago he won Sydney, over Evans in the semis and Murray in the final, and made the third round in Melbourne).

Cristian Garin (CHI: No. 87 =========> No. 102 (It’s hard to know what to make of Garin, the former top-20 player. He seems somewhat of a shell of his former self in many ways. And now he’s out of the top 100).

Vasek Pospisil (CAN): No. 99=========> No. 113 (After the Australian Open, where he had to play countryman Félix Auger-Aliassime in the first round, Pospisil headed to Europe to play Challengers, because he had points to defend. He won his first match in Australia in the Adelaide 1 qualifying over John Millman, but went 0-for-3 after that. His first points defence effort in Qumper last week – where he won the title last year – ended in the first round. He’s in Koblenz, Germany this week.

Gael Monfils (FRA): No. 85 =========> No. 209 (Out of the top 200 for Monfils, who drops his quarterfinal points from last year’s Australian Open. He also also won Adelaide 1. There doesn’t seem to be much of a timetable for his return, at age 36).

Benoit Paire (FRA): No. 172 =========> No. 216 (Paire’s effort was there in the AO qualifying, but not the results. He’s still plugging away and this week is in a Challenger in the Canary Islands. Paire hasn’t been outside the top 200 since June, 2010 – until today).

 THE CANADIANS

DOUBLES RACE

Probably the only time Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler will find themselves at the top of any ATP race, so they should revel in it!

THE RACE TO TURIN

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