The gap between Wimbledon and the big Masters 1000 tournaments leading up to the US Open (oops, pardon us, the “us open”, uncapitalized) is prime time for lesser-known players to make their moves.
Especially during the post-Wimbledon clay-court swing, there are few top players other than those who truly live on the clay who are at all interested in going back on the dirt before heading to the hard courts.
(A notable exception, of course, is Dominic Thiem. The Austrian not only loves the clay, he seems genetically incapable of taking a week off and again is in action in both singles and doubles in Kitzbuhel this coming week).
All of which to say, it’s opportunity time.
And Matteo Berrettini, who was ranked No. 135 to start the season, maximized this week in Gstaad.
This was the 15th tournament of the Italian’s ATP Tour-level career – all of them since May 2017. He had posted just four wins at this level before this week, all in the first rounds of events.
And the Italian won Gstaad singles title. Oh, and he also won the doubles, after not ever having won a doubles match at the Tour level in his career.
ON THE UPSWING
Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO): No. 81 ———-> No. 35 (The first Georgian to lift an ATP Trophy went from the qualifying to the title in Hamburg – a crazy-impressive effort that vaults him into seeded contention for the US Open, at age 26).
Mischa Zverev (GER): No. 45 ———-> No. 42
Matthew Ebden (AUS): No. 55 ———-> No. 50 (The 30-year-old is back in the top 50 after a semifinal in Atlanta).
Nicolas Jarry (CHI): No. 69 ———-> No. 53 (The 22-year-old from Chile – all 6-foot-6 of him, and he looks taller than that, hits a career high after reaching the Hamburg semis).
Matteo Berrettini (ITA): No. 84 ———-> No. 54 (A career high with his first singles – and doubles – titles at the ATP Tour level. He rose from No. 650 to No. 223 in doubles, also his best).
Jozef Kovalik (SVK): No. 113 ———-> No. 82 (A career high after Hamburg semis, but will still have to qualify for the US Open).
Corentin Moutet (FRA): No. 119 ———-> No. 109 (A career high for the 19-year-old, who was bestowed a US Open wild card by the French Federation).
Thiago Monteiro (BRA): No. 146 ———-> No. 119
Peter Polansky (CAN): No. 134 ———-> No. 122 (A title in Granby, and quickly off to Cabos to play Ryan Harrison in the first round)
Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN): No. 139 ———-> No. 134 (Another career high, and the end of a successful European summer on the clay as his Rogers Cup debut approaches).
Noah Rubin (USA): No. 164 ———-> No. 152 (A career high after qualifying in Atlanta).
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS): No. 172 ———-> No. 163 (it’s proving a long road back from injury for the 22-year-old. His career high of No. 69 was three years ago already).
Jay Clarke (GBR): No. 225 ———-> No. 175 (A nice 50-spot jump after winning the Binghamton Challenger).
Stan Wawrinka (SUI): No. 201 ———-> No. 198
ON THE DOWNSWING
Kyle Edmund (GBR): No. 16 ———-> No. 18
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER): No. 25 ———-> No. 29
Leonardo Mayer (ARG): No. 36 ———-> No. 51 (The difference between winning a 500 final, and losing in the final, as he did last year and this year in Hamburg).
Ryan Harrison (USA): No. 53 ———-> No. 57 (The plus was he reached the singles and doubles final in Atlanta Sunday. The minus is that he lost both of them. Off to Cabos).
David Ferrer (ESP): No. 62 ———-> No. 68
Gilles Muller (LUX): No. 92 ———-> No. 104 (outside the top 100, as he wraps up a long career).
Federico Delbonis (ARG): No. 82 ———-> No. 107 (From the qualies to the semis in Hamburg last year = 1st-round loss in Gstaad this year)
Florian Mayer (GER): No. 94 ———-> No. 188 (That’s a tough one for the 34-year-old German, who lost in the first round in Hamburg after reaching the final a year ago).
Andrej Martin (SVK): No. 163 ———-> No. 213
Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER): No. 178 ———-> No. 219 (With a second wrist surgery last week, this will tumble)
Christopher Eubanks (USA): No. 204 ———-> No. 236 (Eubanks made a big splash in his hometown last year, coming out of college and making the quarterfinals when ranked No. 461. But lost in the first round of qualifying this year).
Tommy Paul (USA): No. 213———-> No. 256 (A long injury layoff, but he’s back now and can work on getting up again).