No foolin’ this time, as there are three Canadian men in the top 33 in the ATP Tour rankings.
And then you’ve got Roger Federer, who wins Miami and moves up to No. 4 in the world.
He stands 450 points behind the somewhat struggling Alexander Zverev.
And, as the 37-year-old plans to play some clay-court tennis this spring, while defending no points after skipping that part of the season a year ago, he’s coming for him.
Zverev was a semifinalist in Monte Carlo a year ago. He won Munich. And then he won the Masters 1000 in Madrid. He reached the final in Rome. And he was a quarterfinalist at the French Open.
That is … 2,570 points to defend in a two-month period.
Will the “big three” be numbers 1, 2 and 3 for the French Open? You’d have to think the odds on that are pretty good.
ON THE UPSWING
Roger Federer (SUI): No. 5 ===========> No. 4 (An Indian Wells final and a Miami title (and he would well have won in the desert as well). That’s one mission accomplished on the Sunshine Swing).
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE): No. 10 ===========> No. 8 (Another career high in singles. And, we should point out, he moves into the top 100 in doubles at No. 9. Also a career high, after reaching the Miami final).
Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO): No. 19 ===========> No. 17 (The Georgian went out fairly meekly to 18-year-old Félix Auger-Aliassime in Miami. But he still reaches a career high).
Denis Shapovalov (CAN): No. 23 ===========> No. 20 (After spending almost every week since his Madrid semifinal a year ago in the 20s, the 19-year-old Canadian finally hits the top 20, two weeks before his 20th birthday).
Frances Tiafoe (USA): No. 34 ===========> No. 30
Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN): No. 57 ===========> No. 33 (Just one spot out of the top 32, the teenager’s semifinal effort out of the Miami qualifying signified his arrival at the top of the game).
Stan Wawrinka (SUI): No. 37 ===========> No. 36
Jordan Thompson (AUS): No. 77 ===========> No. 67
Pablo Andujar (ESP): No. 88 ===========> No. 70 (After losing to David Goffin in Miami, Andujar went to play the Marbella Challenger during the second week and defeated Benoit Paire in the final to win it).
Federico Delbonis (ARG): No. 83 ===========> No. 74
Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB): No. 95 ===========> No. 88 (A career high for the 19-year-old, who defeated Ernests Gulbis in the first round of Miami, on a wild card from IMG).
Daniel Evans (GBR): No. 97 ===========> No. 89 (Two years ago, he was at No. 41. A year ago, he had no ranking. But he’s getting there. This is his highest ranking since just before the 2017 US Open.
Andrey Rublev (RUS): No. 99 ===========> No. 90
Ricardas Berankis (LTU): No. 114 ===========> No. 98 (The Lithuanian has had a busy month: from being a lucky loser in Miami, all the way to Drummondville, Quebec to win a Challenger, to Miami for the qualifying (out of gas) and then to St. Brieuc, France to the semifinals of a Challenger there).
Alexander Bublik (KAZ): No. 131 ===========> No. 120 (When Kyrgios thinks you’re a bit nuts, that’s saying something).
Kamil Majchrzak (POL): No. 154 ===========> No. 130 (A career high for the 23-year-old).
Marc Polmans (AUS): No. 200 ===========> No. 163
ON THE DOWNSWING
Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP): No. 21 ===========> No. 28 (The Spaniard hasn’t played since retiring in in the first round in Cordoba in early February. He was a semifinalist in Miami a year ago).
Nick Kyrgios (AUS): No. 33 ===========> No. 35
Fernando Verdasco (ESP): No. 35 ===========> No. 38 (The new daddy skipped the Sunshine Double this year).
Malek Jaziri (TUN): No. 59 ===========> No. 66
Denis Kudla (USA): No. 71 ===========> No. 84
Filip Krajinovic (SRB): No. 103 ===========> No. 109
Hyeon Chung (KOR): No. 82 ===========> No. 121 (Chung tried in Miami. But his back said no. And now he’s out of the top 100 after making the Miami quarters a year ago. Exactly a year ago, he reached his career high of No. 19. It must feel like a long time ago).
Vasek Pospisil (CAN): No. 123 ===========> No. 131
Jack Sock (USA): No. 124 ===========> No. 136
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS): No. 161 ===========> No. 185 (He was supposed to return at the Challenger this week at the Mouratoglou Academy. Not yet).
The Road to London
Oh hey, look who stands at the top of the (VERY VERY EARLY) road to the ATP Tour Finals in London.
And, notably, look at that 11-14 section, where you can find three Canadians.
The Road to Milan
The Next-Gen is heating up. And there are Canadians in two of the top three spots. Notably, Félix Auger-Aliassime defeated No. 1 Stefanos Tsitsipas at Indian Wells. And his pal Denis Shapovalov defeated him in Miami.