INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – A little later than usual. But there have been a few things going on.
And with the tournaments in Dubai, Acapulco and Santiago now done like dinner, plenty of moves in the ATP Tour rankings, effective today.
New highs for Holger Rune, and great weeks from Alex de Minaur and Nicolas Jarry highlight the week.
And massive jumps for Jacopo Berrettini at the start of his career, and Feliciano Lopez at the end of his.
ON THE UPSWING
Holger Rune (DEN): No. 10 ======> No. 8 (Rune’s run to the Acapulco semifinals puts him at a new career high. No doubt he was helped when Matteo Berrettini retired down 0-6, 1-6 in the quarterfinals. But he might well have won anyway).
Alexander Zverev (GER): No. 16 ======> No. 14 (Every little bit helps for Zverev, who has some big points to defend coming up. He reached the semis in Dubai – the brest result so far in his comeback from the horrific ankle injury last year at Roland Garros. He can make up ground in the desert, but he has a quarterfinal to defend at the Miami Open).
Alex de Minaur (USA): No. 22 ======> No. 18 (A great effort from the Aussie, who moves back into the top 20 with his title in Acapulco. With a win over Holger Rune in the semis and then Tommy Paul in the final, it was well-deserved).
Tommy Paul (USA): No. 23 ======> No. 19 (Paul is back in the top 20 after making the Acapulco final. His stomach-churning third-set tiebreak win over countryman and pal Taylor Fritz in the semis won’t soon be forgotten. Somehow he managed to push the final against de Minaur the distance).
Nicolas Jarry (CHI): No. 87 ======> No. 52 (Jarry’s spectacular effort on the South American clay-court swing has undoubtedly re-launched his career, after a couple of years trying to come back from a doping suspension and the pandemic. He wins the Santiago ATP tour event, in his hometown. And has the trophy presented to him by the legendary Jaime Fillol. Who also happens to be his grandfather. He did not, however, make the trip to Indian Wells to play the Masters 1000. He was the top seed at a Challenger this week in his city. Not surprisingly, he decided to take a break).
Tomas Martin Etcheverry (ARG): No. 76 ======> No. 61 (The final in Santiago put Etcheverry, 23, at a career high. He made the quarterfinals in Buenos Aires, and didn’t do so well in the other two tournaments. He ended up making it into the main draw at Indian Wells with the late withdrawals. So he could at least have a couple of days to try to adjust. Although after a long trip from Chile and the clay, he was out hitting at the Indian Wells tournament Monday).
Ugo Humbert (FRA): No. 89 ======> No. 77 (Humbert is on a long road back. But his effort to reach the final at the Pau Challenger helps move him up a dozen spots).
Max Purcell (AUS): No. 116 ======> No. 95 (What a surge from the 24-year-old Aussie, heretofore best known as the surprise doubles winner at the 2022 Australian Open. Tellin’ ya, once he grew out the mullet … Purcell breaks into the top 100 for the first time in his career after blazing an absolute TRAIL through the India Challenger circuit. He’s won 15 straight matches, and three straight tournaments. And last week’s win in Pune might have been the easiest of them all. After dropping his first set in the first round, he just rolled to the win. Purcell was at No. 203 when he started his run).
Taro Daniel (JPN): No. 125 ======> No. 103 (Daniel’s effort in going from the qualifying to the quarterfinals in Acapulco indluded a straight-sets win over J.J. Wold. It also included a third-set tiebreak win over world No. 4 Casper Ruud. Still, you’re only as good as what you’ve done this week. So Daniel, as the No. 17, went out to play the qualifying at Indian Wells on Monday and beat Nick Hardt of the Dominican Republic in three sets. He’ll play Alexei Popyrin Tuesday for a shot at the main draw).
Luca Van Assche (FRA): No. 149 ======> No. 110 (Van Assche – the 2021 Roland Garros junior boys’ champion and Arthur Fils – the 2021 Roland Garros junior boys’ runner-up who has gotten a lot of ink lately who is at No. 109 – is a nice 1-2 punch to reinvigorate French tennis. And less than two years after that finals match, both are knocking on the door of the top 100. Van Assche won the big Challenger in Pau, France last week. He defeated his far more accomplished and lder countrymen Arthur Rinderknech in the semis, and then Ugo Humbert in the final. The score in that one was 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (6).
Alex Michelsen (USA): No. 356 ======> No. 306 (The 18-year-old American, who sort of has a Reilly Opelka vibe without all the height – although he is very tall. It’s career-high ranking after sollowing up his trip to the Challenger final in Rome, Georgia to back it up with a semifinal effort at another one in Waco, Texas. Let’s hope by next year Indian Wells will get his name right).
Jacopo Berrettini (ITA): No. 842 ======> No. 475 (The younger Berrettini got a wild card into the qualifying in Acapulco, thanks to his brother – who also took a last minute wild card into the main draw after Stefanos Tsitsipas withdrew. Jacopo made the most of it. He qualified, then won his first round when opponent Oscar Otte retired early in the third set. Then he was put to rights by eventual champion Alex de Minaur, who gave up just one game. Still, that bump in the rankings is going to help him out quite a bit going forward).
Feliciano Lopez (ESP): No. 1035 =====> No. 580 (It felt like a random place for a Spaniard to finally hang up his racquets. But the 41-year-old showed a little style after getting a main-draw wild card. He defeated big-serving American Chris Eubanks before going down to Frances Tiafoe (and it was a close second-set tiebreak, he wasn’t far from taking it the distance. It gave him a huge bump in the rankings, but of course from where he was, that was going to happen).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Nick Kyrgios (AUS): No. 19 ======> No. 22 (No Indian Wells for Kyrgios, who had surgery on his knee and missed the Australian Open. The official word that he’d back for this was probably aspirational more than realistic. He’s already officially out of Miami as well).
Vasek Pospisil (CAN): No. 139 ======> No. 153 (Pospisil, who is on an indefinite break, made the semifinals of a Challenger in Turin a year ago. Those points drop off, and Pospisil’s ranking drops out of the top 150).