Well, it’s done.
With Andy Murray’s absence in Cincinnati, and Roger Federer’s withdrawal, Rafael Nadal will become No. 1 in the world next Monday, no matter what he does this week in Cincinnati.
It will be the first time the Mallorcan has earned the top spot since 2014. No doubt he wondered often if he would ever get there again.
Nadal can also put some distance between himself and the other two, with a good run in Cincinnati. He is defending only 90 points. And the field is, let’s face it, pretty decimated.
He is the only top-6 player in the draw.
In other moves, Coupe Rogers champion Alexander Zverev takes over the No. 7 spot, bumping Dominic Thiem to No. 8.
On the Upswing:
Kevin Anderson (RSA): No. 32 ————–> No. 27 (back to being seeded at the US Open, where he belongs).
Robin Haase (NED): No. 52 ————–> No. 35 (Haase’s first career Masters 1000 semifinal has his ranking the highest it’s been since he hit his career high of No. 33 five years ago. Doesn’t seem as though he’s been better than that, somehow?)
Adrian Mannarino (FRA): No. 42 ————–> No. 36
Hyeon Chung (KOR): No. 56 ————–> No. 49 (career high for the 21-year-old)
Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE): No. 70 ————–> No. 61 (The 34-year-old seems quite content to win Challengers in Asia to keep his ranking in sight. It’s his second in two weeks, and the best player he had to beat was ranked No. 124. He makes a lot off the court, as the best male player out of Taipei)
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA): No. 69 ————–> No. 63 (a singles career high for the 26-year-old “doubles specialist”. Right?)
Denis Shapovalov (CAN): No. 143 ————–> No. 67 (The Canadian teenager had a breakthrough week in Montreal. He’s the only 18-year-old in the top 100).
Dudi Sela (ISR): No. 77 ————–> No. 70 (Top seed at the Vancouver Challenger this week)
Guido Pella (ARG): No. 92 ————–> No. 75 (Pella won the Claro Open Challenger in Colombia)
Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR): No. 115 ————–> No. 99 (Back in the top 100 after winning the Slovenia Open Challenger).
Alexander Bublik (KAZ): No. 125 ————–> No. 104 (The funky 20-year-old hits a career high after winning the Aptos Challenger in California)
Taylor Fritz (USA): No. 131 ————–> No. 120
Ricardas Berankis (LTU): No. 196 ————–> No. 165 (It hasn’t quite worked out for the former top junior. But he’s still battling).
On the Downswing:
Ivo Karlovic (CRO): No. 34 ————–> No. 44
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB): No. 58 ————–> No. 69 (caught a break when Kei Nishikori pulled out of Cincinnat, with a bye into the second round of the main draw)
Dusan Lajovic (SRB): No. 68 ————–> No. 82
Daniel Evans (GBR): No. 65 ————–> No. 86 (Suspended, this is only going to go in one direction)
Nicolas Almagro (ESP): No. 81 ————–> No. 91 (Playing a Challenger in the Dominican Republic this week, his first week back since the French Open after knee surgery).
Marcel Granollers (ESP): No. 99 ————–> No. 110
Road to London
Zverev isn’t just Next-Gen any more. He stands behind only Federer and Nadal in the race to London.
Road to Milan
Zverev clinches a spot in the year-end Next-Gen finals. But will be play? Meanwhile, Shapovalov No. 4 with a bullet.