The end of the regular season brings with it, well, not so many moves at the top of the rankings.
The big points gaps between the top five means that regardless of results, not much was going to change.
There are no changes in the top 50, but still plenty to play for.
The worst Canadian drop was Vasek Pospisil, whose career seems at a crossroads at age 33. He’s out of the top 400 and at that age, that’s a tough road back – especially if he can’t stay healthy, which has proven a big challenge the last few years. Because when he is healthy, he’s still ballin’.
ON THE UPSWING
Dominik Koepfer (GER): No. 82 ========> No. 77 (Koepfer, who was a finalist in Calgary, falls in the quarterfinals in Drummondville but makes a move up).
Alex Michelsen (USA): No. 99 ========> No. 94 (Having already qualified for the Australian Open main draw by virtue of his success this fall, the 19-year-old didn’t need the USTA’s wild card. But he had a say in who got it, facing Patrick Kypson in the Champaign Challenger final. If he won, Brandon Nakashima would get the pass. But Patrick Kypson took the title).
Maximilian Marterer (GER): No. 100 ========> No. 89 (Marterer wins the Challenger in Danderyd, Sweden and puts himself in good position to be straight into the main draw at the Australian Open).
Facundo Diaz Acosta (ARG): No. 111 ========> No. 93 (Diaz Acosta, 22, has done himself some serious good this week in Montevideo with a title. It will get him straight into Melbourne).
Thiago Monteiro (BRA): No. 131 ========> No. 117 (Monteiro reached the Montevideo Challenger final).
Luca Nardi (ITA): No. 128 ========> No. 118 (Nardi, up there in the Next-Gen qualifying, made the semifinals at the Kobe Challenger. He’s in Yokohama this week, hoping for a big result that might put him into the 2024 AO main draw. But he knows he’s basically a lock to make the Next-Gen Finals – one of three Italian youngsters likely to be in … well, no longer in Milan, unfortunately, but Saudi Arabia).
Brandon Nakashima (USA): No. 143 ========> No. 133 (Nakashima was looking to earn the USTA’s WC into the Australian Open, and left the US to go to Danderyd, Sweden, to do it. But he lost in the final, and so had to sit and wait to see if countryman Patrick Kypson could win in another Challenger in the U.S. to beat him out. And that’s what happened, so Nakashima fell just short. A year ago, Nakashima was at a career high of No. 43; it’s been a tough 12 months but back-to-back solid results on the Challenger circuit in Europe can help turn that frown upside down).
Duje Ajdukovic (SRB): No. 172 ========> No. 145 (A career high for the 22-year-old Croat, who wins the Kobe Challenger).
Jakub Mensik (CZE): No. 152 ========> No. 147 (Into the top 150 for the 18-year-old after a quarterfinal in Danderyd. He began the season at No. 408 in the world).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS): No. 57 ========> No. 61 (Vukic doesn’t defend a semifinal in the Champaign Challenger a year ago. He also has a semifinal in another Challenger to defend next week. But he began the season at No. 130; all is good).
Tomas Machac (CZE): No. 70 ========> No. 78 (Machac is a key member of the Czechia Davis Cup team looking for a big result in Malaga this week. Perhaps because of that, he skipped ths week, when he was defending points from the Helsinki Challenger a year ago and therefore drops some in the rankings).
Juan Pablo Varillas (PER): No. 69 ========> No. 83 (Varillas, doesn’t defend his points from winning the Sao Leopoldo Challenger a year ago. It was his second biggest total below the semifinal at the ATP 250 in Buenos Aires. But after spending a few years ranked between 100 and 200, he seems firmly established in the top 100 now and can look forward to adding some points at the big Masters 1000s with that ranking. He played in four in 2023, and lost in the first round of all four).
Yosuke Watanuki (JPN): No. 81 ========> No. 98 (Watanuke was qat a career high No. 72 three weeks ago. But he’s run into points he has needed to defend in recent weeks. He had a Challenger title in Kobe a year ago – he did’t play last week – and he has another one to defend this coming week).
Michael Mmoh (USA): No. 109 ========> No. 122 (Mmoh is in Yokohama, where he’s trying to improve his lot to start the 2024 season. He was at a career high No. 81 after the US Open, where he ended countryman John Isner’s career with – natch – a supertiebreak win in the fifth set. After retiring in the semifinals of a Challenger in Saint Tropez 10 days later, he missed a month and has won just one match in three tournaments since).
Benoit Paire (FRA): No. 126 ========> No. 129 (Paire gave it a go, playing a ton of events this fall to try to get back to the top 100. But after losing in the second round of Drummondville, he avowed himself beaten and withdrew from another Challenger this week. Will he go Down Under and play the qualifying? Time will tell).
Vasek Pospisil (CAN): No. 300 ========> No. 434 (Sidelined by an elbow issue for the last six weeks or so, the Canadian drops points from winning the Drummondville Challenger a year ago. Pospisil played four challengers after Davis Cup, and while he won a pair of matches against opponents ranked outside the top 700 in the first one, he lost four in a row after that – and couldn’t make it “home” to play the two Challengers in Canada).
THE FINAL TOP-10
THE FINAL DOUBLES TOP-10
THE NEXT-GEN RACE
THE RACE TO THE AO MAIN DRAW
The New 2024 singles race!
Unlikely these folks are going to find themselves at the top of the 2024 race to the year-end finals for long, so they should enjoy!