The top men of the ATP Tour tend to play little in the leadup to Wimbledon.
And so during the opening week, in Stuttgart and ‘s-Hertogenbosch (other than late wild card Alexander Zverev), it was an opportunity for other players to make some points.
That’s true this week in Halle and Queen’s as well. No Djokovic, No Nadal, no Thiem, no Nishikori as the latter two were late withdrawals from the German event.
In the end, it was 18-year-old Félix Auger-Aliassime and 23-year-old Matteo Berrettini in the Stuttgart final – two young players who have made their names, so far, on the clay.
In ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Adrian Mannarino finished off Jordan Thompson in the final, after both had to come back after an overnight wait to finish off their semifinal matches.
As with the women’s ranking, there was no change in the top 20.
ON THE UPSWING
Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN): No. 21 ============> No. 21 (It’s not a rise. But given the 18-year-old Canadian was defending last year’s Lyon Challenger title, it was impressive that he could defend the points at the ATP Tour level and remain at his career best).
Matteo Berrettini (ITA): No. 30 ============> No. 22 (The 23-year-old Italian wins his third career title, his second of 2019 and his first on grass, to get to a career high).
Adrian Mannarino (FRA): No. 44 ============> No. 34 (The clever French lefty put himself in the seedings picture for Wimbledon with his title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. At 30, he has finally won his first career ATP Tour crown during a season in which he was 6-13 going into last week. He came back three straight time to win in three sets to do it, too – against qualify players in Verdasco, Goffin and Coric).
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER): No. 38 ============> No. 35 (After opening in Stuttgart with his third consecutive victory over Denis Shapovalov this spring, the 29-year-old lefty reaches another career high in losing to eventual champion Berrettini in the semis).
Jordan Thompson (AUS): No. 62 ============> No. 46 (The unheralded Aussie reaches the ‘s-Hertogenbosch final and reaches a career high. It also was his first career final at the ATP Tour level).
Nicolas Jarry (CHI): No. 60 ============> No. 55
Corentin Moutet (FRA): No. 102 ============> No. 86 (The 20-year-old French lefty, who got some attention in Paris when he reached the third round as a wild card, went south to Lyon and won the Challenger there to jump into the top 100 for the first time. He began the season at No. 152).
Mikael Torpegaard (DEN): No. 214 ============> No. 170 (The 25-year-old Dane, who started in the NCAA, reaches a career high after winning the Columbus Challenger last week over Ji Sung Nam in the final. He didn’t drop a set).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Lucas Pouille (FRA): No. 26 ============> No. 29
Fernando Verdasco (ESP): No. 34 ============> No. 37
Nick Kyrgios (AUS): No. 36 ============> No. 39 (No matter what he is or isn’t doing on the court at the moment, no seeded player wants to run into this guy in the first round of Wimbledon).
Richard Gasquet (FRA): No. 42 ============> No. 54 (On the plus side, at least he’s back playing after groin surgery to start the season. On the minus side, he’s out of the top 50 for the first time since May 2010 after failing to defend his title at ‘s-Hertogenbosch from a year ago).
Jeremy Chardy (FRA): No. 49 ============> No. 65 (Chardy reached the final of ‘s-Hertogenbosch a year ago, losing to countryman Gasquet. And he didn’t play it this year).
Matthew Ebden (AUS): No. 66 ============> No. 80 (The 31-year-old Aussie lost in the first round on the Netherlands to Pierre-Hugues Herbert, after reaching the semis there a year ago).
Jaume Munar (ESP): No. 74 ============> No. 88 (The 22-year-old Spaniard’s ranking is going in the wrong direction after hitting a career high of No. 52 just before the French Open).
Bernard Tomic (AUS): No. 88 ============> No. 102 (It sort of feels as though it took an eternity for the Aussie’s ranking to drop out of the top 100, since it doesn’t actually feel like he’s been doing much of late. But it has this week).