February 26, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

A Masters 1000 – the penultimate one of the season, and the last one with a 96-player draw – always brings surprises.

As well, a lot of Challenger events took place two weeks ago, in addition to last week.

But the points are being added in only now because of the 12-day Shanghai Masters that ran right through last Monday.

So a lot of changes.

For Andrey Rublev, who was looking for the second Masters 1000 title of his year, and career, a win would have meant a move up to a new career high of No. 4 and guaranteed his participation in the ATP Finals.

He fell just short.

For Hubert Hurkacz, it was another great escape and a big title.

And for Canadian Gabriel Diallo, it’s a new career high.

For the complete, updated ATP Tour rankings for this week, click here.

ON THE UPSWING

Andrey Rublev (RUS): No. 7 ========> No. 5 (Losing a Masters 1000 title you spent nearly two weeks trying to win, 10-8 in the deciding tiebreak, is a tough way to end it. But Rublev remains in good nick to qualify for the ATP Finals in Turin.

Hubert Hurkacz (POL): No. 17 ========> No. 11 (The Polish star is back near the top 10, with a great escape against Rublev. It’s his second 96-draw Masters win, to add to his Miami Open trophy).

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL): No. 19 ========> No. 16 (Dimitrov’s run to the Shanghai semifinals included an upset of world No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz. At 32, he’s a long way from done).

Sebastian Korda (USA): No. 26 ========> No. 23 (Korda’s season was held back by injuries. But he took a nice step towards finishing 2023 in style with a semifinal effort in Shanghai).

Ugo Humbert (FRA): No. 34 ========> No. 29 (Another player whose body hasn’t cooperated in recent years, the 25-year-old former No. 25 – just two years ago – gets back into the top 30 with a quarterfinal run in Shanghai. A year ago, he was outside the top 100).

Arthur Fils (FRA): No. 44 ========> No. 38 (Fils moves to another career high with a third-round effort in Shanghai. A seed in Melbourne is a bit of a longshot, but he can at least dream considering a year ago, he was ranked No. 320).

Roman Safiullin (RUS): No. 50 ========> No. 42 (A nice late run in 2023 by the 26-year-old Russian moves him back inside the top 50; he made the third round in Shanghai, losing to Ben Shelton).

Fabian Marozsan (HUN): No. 91 ========> No. 65 (Marozsan, a 23-year-old Hungarian, isn’t exactly a household name. But he’s authored a couple of monumental upsets this year: Alcaraz in Rome, and Casper Ruud in Shanghai last week. He lost to Hurkacz in the quarterfinals but is at a career high).

Nuno Borges (POR): No. 85 ========> No. 74 (Borges, 26, has quietly moved up the rankings. He played a Challenger in Shenzhen this past week and made the final. He only arrived in the top 100 – seemingly to stay – in February after years of moving at a glacial pace on the Challenger circuit).

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Tomas Machac (CZE): No. 96 ========> No. 81 (It hasn’t just been a good week for Machac’s better half, Katerina Siniakova. Machac himself moves up with a title at the Mouilleron le Captif Challenger two weeks ago. The 22-year-old arrived in the top 100 for the first time in his career with the most recent rankings Oct. 2. After this, he moves up even more).

Diego Schwartzman (ARG): No. 130 ========> No. 113 (A drop in the bucket for the 31-year-old’s ranking, which fell outside the top 100 in August for the first time in nearly a decade. But he had good wins against Jiri Lehecka and Taylor Fritz, before Nicolas Jarry beat him in the fourth round in Shanghai).

Kovacevic is one of the rare Americans with a one-handed topspin backhand.

Aleksandar Kovacevic (USA): No. 146 ========> No. 112 (The 25-year-old is a bit of a late bloomer, after being a two-time All-American out of the University of Illinois. But he’s steadily moved up this year and wins the Shenzhen Challenger to jump up 30 spots in the rankings).

Zachary Svajda (USA): No. 170 ========> No. 139 (The 20-year-old American, who’s listed at 5-foot-9 but went pro rather than go the college route, wins the Fairfield Challenger final and moves to a career high).

(Photo: Peugeot Slovak Open)

Gabriel Diallo (CAN): No. 164 ========> No. 130 (The Canadian pulled off the upset of the week against Dominic Thiem, and came back from being down and almost out in the Bratislava Challenger quarterfinals against Lukas Klein before winning. The win over Joris de Loore in the final gives him the biggest title of his career).

Martin Damm (USA): No. 330 ========> No. 259 (The son of longtime ATP player Martin Damm – 40 doubles titles – reaches the semifinals at the Bratislava Challenger and rises to a career high).

Liam Draxl (CAN): No. 485 ========> No. 421 (Draxl’s points from a final at a $15K in Ithaca, NY two weeks ago come onto the computer, and move him, once again, to a career high).

Nishesh Basavareddy (USA): No. 1114 ========> No. 498 (The 18-year-old is the Iva Jovic of the men’s ranking list, with a great run at the Fairfield Challenger. Basavareddy had one win at the Challenger level and three pro wins – period – before this week. A sophomore at Stanford, he’s having an outstanding college career. But he (almost) maximized this opportunity. By making the final, he went from outside the top 1,000 to inside the top 500).

ON THE DOWNSWING

Taylor Fritz (USA): No. 8 ========> No. 10 (A quiet Asian swing for Fritz, who loses to Diego Schwartzman in the third round of Shanghai – not a good loss).

Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN): No. 15 ========> No. 17 (Auger-Aliassime’s 2023 slump hasn’t shown up that much in his ranking. So far. But now it begins, with the Canadian … He got a decent draw in Tokyo this week, with a first round against Aleksandar Vukic of Australia).

Borna Coric (CRO): No. 28 ========> No. 33 (Coric lost in the first round of the US Open and … just kind of fell off the radar. He’s sort of a low-profile guy anyway, and certainly has missed large chunks of time due to injury. But he’s entered in the United Cup in January, so you’d expect he’s planning to return).

Shapovalov poses for some of that tournament promotional stuff ahead of the Miami Open in March.

Denis Shapovalov (CAN): No. 37 ========> No. 45 (No signs of life from Shapovalov, who drops out of the top 40 for the first time since he jumped inside it in May, 2018. He drops his semifinal points from Tokyo a year ago, and there are more big drops to come including 300 for his final in Vienna, a year minus two weeks ago. That will drop him to about No. 60. We have to assume his year is done, but there’s been no official word).

Arthur Rinderknech (FRA): No. 68 ========> No. 82 (Rinderknech was upset by Marozsan in the first round of Shanghai, thus dropping his points from a semifinal at the Gijon Challenger a year ago).

Dominic Thiem (AUT): No. 72 ========> No. 86 (Thiem skipped the Asian swing, staying in Europe and playing Challengers. He was shocked in the second round in Bratislava last week by Canadian Gabriel Diallo, who is in the final. The crazy thing about this former US Open champion is that he only has six ATP-level events counting on his rankings sheet right now).

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Michael Mmoh (USA): No. 86 ========> No. 101 (Mmoh drops points from winning the Fairfield Challenger a year ago. And he’s getting close to that borderline for a straight-in spot at the Australian Open. So hopefully he plays more in the next few weeks. He was at a career-high No. 81 right after the US Open).

Mikael Ymer (SWE): No. 87 ========> No. 104 (Ymer is suspended for missing whereabouts tests, and he said he’s retired. So his ranking will only keep dropping).

Alexis Galarneau (CAN): No. 174========> No. 186 (Galarneau followed up his final at the Columbus Challenger and quarterfinal in Tiburon with a first-round exit in Fairfield. He was defending a semifinal and a quarterfinal at those events, so he drops. Galarneau is idle next week, so doesn’t have an opportunity to get back on the winning track quite yet).

Soonwoo Kwon (KOR): No. 117 ========> No. 193 (Kwon’s long injury absence this year hurts him, as he drops the points from a semifinal in Tokyo a year ago. After going from the qualifying to the title in Adelaide to start the year – he lost to Machac in the final around of qualifying, got in as a lucky loser and got his revenge in the first round of the main draw – he hardly played.  Kwon was out after Doha in February, and didn’t come back until the US Open. He hasn’t won a match since. And then of course there was this this at the Asian Games. Kwon’s career high of No. 51 came nearly two years ago).

Vasek Pospisil (CAN): No. 220 ========> No. 287 (A first-round loss to Skander Mansouri in California, and points dropping off from a semifinal at the Ismaning Challenger and a final at Mouilleron le Captif last year, and Pospisil’s ranking is going in the wrong direction. He has nearly 100 more points to defend before the end of the season).

Kamil Majchrzak (POL): No. 274 ========> No. 382 (The 27-year-old from Poland remains in limbo because of a doping suspension, and drops his points from Tokyo last year. In a week, he drops the points from winning a Challenger in Busan, and that’s about all that’s left on his list).

Marin Cilic (CRO): No. 441 ========> No. 611 (He’s 35 now, and Cilic’s 2023 is a writeoff because of a knee injury and surgery. You start to wonder if he’ll actually comeback, but no doubt he’ll give it a go).

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THE CANADIANS

THE SINGLES RACE TO TURIN

DOUBLES RANKINGS

THE DOUBLES RACE TO TURIN

THE NEXT-GEN RACE

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