The men’s final in Madrid didn’t change a thing in the top five, although Rafael Nadal avoided losing any more ground to Novak Djokovic by winning the title.
It was also the Spaniard’s first title of the clay-court season – definitely not a typical lead up to Roland Garros for the perennial Paris champion.
But as he said on Saturday, he was excited just to actually win a semi this spring, never mind the whole thing.
Meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas’s effort gets him to a career high No. 6.
And Diego Schwartzman’s semifinal run puts him back in the top 20.
Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev and Stan Wawrinka are in Geneva this week, looking to get more match play in after subpar clay-court springs.
ON THE UPSWING
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE): No. 7 ===========> No. 6 (A career high, as Tsitsipas makes the semis in Rome. He got a gift from Roger Federer, and a routining from Nadal. But he has impressed on the dirt).
Diego Schwartzman (ARG): No. 24 ===========> No. 20 (A year ago after the French Open, the Argentine was at a career high No. 11. But he’s back in the top 20 after making the Rome semifinals. And every little bit helps when you’re coming to a Slam with a quarterfinal to defend).
Fernando Verdasco (ESP): No. 38 ===========> No. 26 (Look who rolled into the seeds at the very last minute – the 35-year-old Spanish veteran, bad backhand and all. After six weeks off the tour as a new father, Verdasco lost in the first round of his first two clay-court events. But he went a round further each time after that and in Rome, he beat Khachanov, Thiem and Edmund – all in three sets).
Stan Wawrinka (SUI): No. 29 ===========> No. 27 (The main thing is, he’ll be seeded in Paris. And, given where he is and where Milos Raonic is, there’s no chance the two could meet in the third round unless there’s another highly-ranked pullout – which is good, because Wawrinka has lost to him in the last two Grand Slams).
Félix Auger-Aliassime (CAN): No. 30 ===========> No. 28 (Another career high, and a seeded spot in his first Roland Garros main draw. And it wouldn’t take much, as the No. 4 seed in Lyon this week, to ride into Paris as a top-25 player).
Cameron Norrie (GBR): No. 45 ===========> No. 41 (The 23-year-old Brit hits a careerhigh this week).
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER): No. 51 ===========> No. 44 (It doesn’t feel as though the German has been around long enough to be 29. But he is. And he’s also at a career high with some sneaky-good results in singles this spring).
Taylor Fritz (USA): No. 52 ===========> No. 46 (Fritz is one of the rare Americans who has been grinding throughout the clay-court season, through the qualifying at the bigger events, too. It will surely pay off down the road. But it’s also paying off right now, as he’s back in the top 50).
Filip Krajinovic (SRB): No. 69 ===========> No. 60 (A year ago, the Serb was at a career high No. 26. He’s slowly getting back there. And having been outside the cutoff for Rome qualifying (and outside the top 100) at that deadline, he opted for the Heilbronn Challenger – and won it. Since Indian Wells, when he was ranked No. 113, he has gone 22-4 in ATP main draw, qualifying and Challenger events).
Casper Ruud (NOR): No. 76 ===========> No. 63 (Career high for the 20-year-old from Norway, who qualified, benefited from Kyrgios’s hasty departure in their second-round match, and hung tough before going down to Juan Martin del Potro in Rome).
Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP): No. 86 ===========> No. 74 (He’s two off his career best. And he also squeezed into the Roland Garros main draw last week. All is good).
Daniel Evans (GBR): No. 83 ===========> No. 77
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA): No. 92 ===========> No. 85 (Slowly climbing, and playing Lyon this week, he got through a tough first round in Dusan Lajovic).
Tennys Sandgren (USA): No. 93 ===========> No. 87 (The ranking is coming back up, but not in time for Paris. He’s the No. 1 seed in the qualies).
Tomas Berdych (CZE): No. 102 ===========> No. 100 (Berdych’s name has been on plenty of entry lists – including this week in Lyon. But he’s not making the dates. He went 10-3 in his first three events this year after missing a lot of time in 2018. But since then, he’s gone 2-3 and hasn’t played since losing in the first round of Indian Wells. He’s still on the list for Paris, but if there were betting in tennis, it would be surprising to see him there).
Dudi Sela (ISR): No. 240 ===========> No. 211 (Yes, the 34-year-old is still playing, although he seems to mostly be in Asia these days. He has played 9 Challengers – seven in Asia, two in Australia to start the season. He reached the final in Gwangji last week).
Jannik Sinner (ITA): No. 263 ===========> No. 229 (The ginger Italian, just 17, impressed in Rome when he defeated Steve Johnson in the first round, and he qualified in Lyon over the weekend. Two months ago, he was playing $25,000 ITFs).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Marin Cilic (CRO): No. 10===========> No. 13 (The big Croat is not going to look back fondly on a difficult year, which began too soon after the late Davis Cup finals).
Denis Shapovalov (CAN): No. 22 ===========> No. 23 (Still among the top 24 seeds, so that’s good for Paris. But his play during the spring was a step down from a year ago. So that’s not so good).
David Goffin (BEL): No. 23 ===========> No. 30 (Tough week in Rome, but he’ll still be seeded in Paris).
Laslo Djere (SRB): No. 32 ===========> No. 34 (Djere will squeeze in as a seeed in Paris because of two withdrawals. But it shouldn’t have been that close. Three weeks ago, he was at a career high No. 29 and looking good. In the move up to the ATP level, he couldn’t defend a Challenger in Rome. And the Serb he has a bunch more points coming up for renewal).
Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP): No. 43 ===========> No. 56 (The Spaniard, who’d been out since February with a back issue, has lost his opener in every tournament during the clay-court swing: to Paire, Chardy, Opelka and Shapovalov in Rome. He’s out of the top 50 for the first time since Aug. 2016).
Matthew Ebden (AUS): No. 54 ===========> No. 64 (The Aussie won a $150,000 Challenger in South Korea a year ago. But he hasn’t won a match since Sofia in February, and he hasn’t played since retiring in the first round in Miami two months ago).
Ernests Gulbis (LAT): No. 74 ===========> No. 80 (He’s still trucking along).
Aljaz Bedene (SLO): No. 77 ===========> No. 97 (Bedene made the third round in Rome last year. This year, he lost in the first round of qualifying).
Jack Sock (USA): No. 155 ===========> No. 167 (Sock is expected back from a hand injury at a Challenger in Arkansas in a few weeks. But that ranking has sunk like a stone).
Vasek Pospisil (CAN): No. 156 ===========> No. 178 (Pospisil is back training at the Tipsarevic Academy in Serbia, and needs to get back into fighting form. But at least he can use a protected ranking when he returns on the grass).
Tommy Robredo (ESP): No. 226 ===========> No. 284 (The 37-year-old made it into the Paris qualifying before this drop. But if kind of feels like he’s close to the end of the road. Of course, we’ve been saying that for awhile now).
Filip Peliwo (CAN): No. 272 ===========> No. 302 (A year ago, Peliwo was at a career-best ranking of No. 161, and in the French Open qualifying. So this is not good, his lowest ranking since July 2017).
Roland Garros Seeds
With Kevin Anderson and John Isner out amongst the top players, the cutoff to be seeded at the French Open should be No. 34.
Note that seeds 1-8 play 25-32 in the third round (and 9-16 meet 17-24)
- Novak Djokovic
- Rafael Nadal
- Roger Federer
- Dominic Thiem
- Alexander Zverev
- Stefanos Tsitsipas
- Kei Nishikori
- Juan Martin del Potro
- Fabio Fognini
- Karen Khachanov
- Marin Cilic
- Daniil Medvedev
- Borna Coric
- Gaël Monfils
- Milos Raonic
- Nikoloz Basilashvili
- Marco Cecchinato
- Diego Schwartzman
- Roberto Bautista-Agut
- Guido Pella
- Denis Shapovalov
- Alex de Minaur
- Lucas Pouille
- Fernando Verdasco
- Stan Wawrinka
- Félix Auger-Aliassime
- Gilles Simon
- David Goffin
- Kyle Edmund
- Matteo Berrettini
- Dusan Lajovic
- Laslo Djere
2018 carnage, revisited
Remember the carnage with the late withdrawals and the lucky losers a year ago?
- You have to hope there won’t be a repeat of this.
Here were the players who pulled out.
And here’s the long list of lucky losers.
(Information from Wikipedia)
Also worth noting that Chung has been out again this year, for awhile now, with a back injury. Rublev is missing the French with a wrist injury. And Raonic, who hasn’t played since giving Maximilian Marterer a walkover in his second match in Miami, is still dealing with that knee. Plus ça change …