No change in the top 25, as few of the higher-ranked players made the trip to Winston-Salem to play a final tuneup before the US Open.
With Canada and Cincinnati – both Masters 1000s – back to back, that slot is always going to be tough sell.
Still, top seed Benoit Paire (ranked No. 30 coming in) almost lived up to his seeding by reaching the final.
And if he didn’t play the very, very best, he still defeated some very solid players to get there. His last four matches went three sets, and he came back against both Ugo Humbert and Steve Johnson (1-6, 6-0, 6-0 !!!!!!) along the way.
As for Winston-Salem champ Hubert Hurkacz, the 22-year-old from Poland who won his first career title, he’s at a career high. And he didn’t take any shortcuts to do it. He got past Feliciano Lopez, Frances Tiafoe and Denis Shapovalov (in the nightcap of a doubleheader for both) before beating Paire in the final.
ON THE UPSWING
Benoit Paire (FRA): No. 30 =========> No. 26 (Interesting note on Paire: he’s played just about every single week on Tour in 2019. He even played Challengers during the second week of the Australian Open and the second week of Miami).
Denis Shapovalov (CAN): No. 38 =========> No. 33 (If there was a sense early that he might have ridden the late wild card into his first ATP Tour title, it was not to be as the Canadian lost to Hurkacz and was once again stymied at the semis stage).
Hubert Hurkacz (POL): No. 41 =========> No. 35 (Hurkacz wins his first title, moves above the .500 mark for the season and this week in New York, will move about the $1 million mark in earnings this season).
Andrey Rublev (RUS): No. 47 =========> No. 43 (Feels like another Russian is about to get there).
Frances Tiafoe (USA): No. 52 =========> No. 45 (It’s a tread-water kind of season for Tiafoe, who should be higher than this).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP): No. 64 =========> No. 69
Nicolas Jarry (CHI): No. 69 =========> No. 73
Steve Johnson (USA): No. 82 =========> No. 86
Taro Daniel (JPN): No. 117 =========> No. 136
Jannik Sinner (ITA): No. 131 =========> No. 137 (Sinner qualified for the US Open last week. So he’ll probably be okay with the drop in ranking. Believe it or not, it comes from points from an entry-level $15,000 Futures in Italy a year ago when, ranked No. 1159, he lost in the final. When you go from losing to Alessandro Petrone (No. 471) one year – to playing Stan Wawrinka on Louis Armstrong Stadium in a US Open night session 12 months later, you’re clearly on the right path).
Hyeon Chung (KOR): No. 151 =========> No. 170 (Chung was a quarterfinalist in Winston-Salem a year ago. He spent that week this year trying to qualify for the US Open. And he did; the No. 29 seed rolled No. 9 seed Mikael Ymer 6-1, 6-3 in the final round. He’ll face wild card Ernesto Escobedo in the first round).