Marin Cilic’s early exit because of a knee injury in Istanbul meant that he couldn’t defend his title.
And that was enough for the idle Grigor Dimitrov to squeak past him and into the No. 4 spot.
This week, with all those Masters 1000 points at stake, it is Dominic Thiem who is on the hotseat.
He’s defending a final – 600 points. And if he goes out early, he could be in danger of dropping out of the top 10. Right behind him, Kevin Anderson and John Isner have no points to defend at all.
Meanwhile, with Milos Raonic dropping four spots, players behind him squeeze up one. (Raonic returns this week; he plays qualifier Nicolas Kicker Monday in his first match since Miami).
And that means Kei Nishikori, who has a tough opener against Novak Djokovic in Madrid, is back in the top 20 for the first time since last October. A year ago this week, Nishikori was No. 8.
ON THE UPSWING
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER): No. 34 ———–> No. 28 (After making the final at his favorite tournament in Munich last week, the German pretty much assures himself a seed in Paris).
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE): No. 44 ———–> No. 40 (Welcome to the top 40, for the flavour of the month for April – and now May).
Frances Tiafoe (USA): No. 64 ———–> No. 56 (Tiafoe has 125 points to defend, and it’s bunched up where he is so the rise may only be temporary).
Malek Jaziri (TUN): No. 78 ———–> No. 62 (The 34-year-old Tunisian is playing some awfully good tennis this year, and posted a final in Istanbul).
Maximilian Marterer (GER): No. 73 ———–> No. 67 (Career high for the 22-year-old German).
Jeremy Chardy (FRA): No. 87 ———–> No. 74 (The veteran Frenchman has jumped 26 spots in two months).
Taro Daniel (JPN): No. 114 ———–> No. 82 (The 25-year-old, New York-born Japanese won his first career ATP title in Istanbul over the weekend and reached a career high in the rankings).
Mackenzie McDonald (USA): No. 146 ———–> No. 114 (The 23-year-old American, two years pro after going to UCLA, won the Seoul Challenger and sits at a career best).
Adrian Menendez-Maceiras (ESP): No. 148———–> No. 117 (At 32, the Spaniard is approaching a career high reached three years ago after winning the Puerto Vallarta Challenger).
Hugo Dellien (BOL): No. 158 ———–> No. 129 (The Bolivian is at a career high after two titles and a semi on the American Har-Tru Challenger circuit. In six weeks, he has cut his ranking exactly in half).
Reilly Opelka (USA): No. 192 ———–> No. 169 (The NBA-sized young American is taking awhile to have his breakthrough – all things being relative, as he’s only 20. But his Savannah semifinal helped).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Milos Raonic (CAN): No. 20———–> No. 24
Gilles Muller (LUX): No. 28 ———–> No. 33
Tennys Sandgren (USA): No. 51 ———–> No. 58 (One of the vagaries of jumping up a level from Challengers is that it’s tougher to defend last year’s points. Sandgren won the Savannah Challenger and 80 points a year ago. Sunday, he lost in the first round of the Masters 1000 in Madrid to Denis Shapovalov).
Guido Pella (ARG): No. 60 ———–> No. 79
Viktor Troicki (SRB): No. 71 ———–> No. 87 (It has not been a great year for the Serb).
Vasek Pospisil (CAN): No. 83 ———–> No. 88 (The Canadian had a great run through the spring Asian Challenger tour a year ago. It’s not quite as glorious this year).
Tommy Paul (USA): No. 160 ———–> No. 180 (The young American has been out since late January, but he is practicing. He has entered a few events in recent weeks and pulled out of all of them).
Bernard Tomic (AUS): No. 190 ———–> No. 243 (His lowest ranking since June, 2010 – when he was just 17. He meets French wild card Geoffrey Blancaneaux, the 2016 junior French Open champion, in the first round of the Aix-en-Provence Challenger as he returns to action).
Nicolas Almagro (ESP): No. 235 ———–> No. 267 (Remember that nasty knee injury he suffered in Paris last year, when he played Juan Martin del Potro on Court 2? He had surgery, came back just before the US Open, played a few weeks, but hasn’t been on court since Metz last September. He had a second surgery in December).