There is no hotter player in men’s tennis than Daniil Medvedev.
The 23-year-old Russian won the Masters 1000 in Shanghai on Sunday, the biggest title of his career.
There can be some deceptive results at this stage of the season, when those who have played the most are starting to run on fumes. But Medvedev’s run started far earlier.
After a semifinal at Queen’s Club and a third round at Wimbledon, the Russian went on a tear on the North American hard courts.
He reached the final in D.C. and Montreal, won in Cincinnati, took Rafael Nadal to five sets at the US Open final, won the 250 in St. Petersburg without dropping a set. And now, he’s won Shanghai – also without dropping a set.
It’s a 29-3 run, through some of the biggest events of the season. That it got him from No. 10 to No. 4 tells you how tough it gets at the top of the game. Even crazier, if he gets to this time of the season in 2020 and doesn’t play this crazy level of tennis, he would actually drop. It’s tough out there.
Medvedev gained 955 points this week. And yet, he still stands 1,000 points away from breaking into the top three.
ON THE UPSWING
Karen Khachanov (RUS): No. 9 =========> No. 8 (He made the third round in Shanghai, but hops over Kei Nishikori, who is idle).
Matteo Berrettini (ITA): No. 13 =========> No. 11 (The 23-year-old is 10 points out of the top 10, after starting the season at No. 54).
Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN): No. 19 =========> No. 17 (Another career high for the 19-year-old Canadian, who lost in the second round in Shanghai).
Stan Wawrinka (SUI): No. 20 =========> No. 18 (Wawrinka missed the entire Asian swing, but he moves up as several other players drop. He’s due to return this week in Antwerp).
Lucas Pouille (FRA): No. 22 =========> No. 19 (The former No. 10 moves back into the top 20 for the first time since February. He also got married, with fellow French Tsonga, Herbert and Goffin among the groomsmen)
Andrey Rublev (RUS): No. 33 =========> No. 31 (The young Russian, who lost a lot of time with a back injury, comes back and ties the career high he set in Feb. 2018).
Reilly Opelka (USA): No. 40 =========> No. 37 (The young American hits another career high. Can he aspire to be seeded at the Australian Open? Seems so).
Alexander Bublik (KAZ): No. 54 =========> No. 48 (The man from Kazakstan jumps into the top 50 for the first time, and a career high. He began the season at No. 162).
Juan Ignacio Londero (ARG): No. 56 =========> No. 51 (The Argentine is three points away from the top 50, and at a career high, just by qualifying in Shanghai. He didn’t win a main-draw match on his Asian tour).
John Millman (AUS): No. 58 =========> No. 52
Mikael Ymer (SWE): No. 81 =========> No. 75 (A career high for the 21-year-old after winning a Challenger in France. He has his home-country ATP event in Stockholm this week).
Steve Johnson (USA): No. 99 =========> No. 86 (The 29-year-old is on the U.S. Challenger circuit as he resurrects his ranking; he reached the final in Fairfield and is the top seed as a wild card into the Las Vegas event this week having parted ways with coach Craig Boynton and added his old coach from USC).
Jannik Sinner (ITA): No. 127 =========> No. 119 (A career high for the 18-year-old Italian)
Federico Coria (ARG): No. 148 =========> No. 130 (The 27-year-old younger brother of former top-10 player Guillermo Coria reached the final at the Challenger in the Dominican Republic, and hits a career high. He has bounced back from an eight-month ban (al but two suspended) and a $10,000 fine related to match-fixing charges in June 2018. At the time, he was ranked No. 301).
What a difference a year makes.
Chris O'Connell finished the 2018 season outside the Top 1,000 after missing six months with a knee injury.
Now, the 🇦🇺 is up to a career-high No. 149 with his second 🏆 of the year in Fairfield. pic.twitter.com/gwZD9tIZVg
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) October 13, 2019
Christopher O’Connell (AUS): No. 192 =========> No. 149 (The obscure Aussie, 25, wins the Fairfield Challenger and reaches a career high. At the beginning of the season, after six months away because of a knee injury, he had no rankings at all).
Vasek Pospisil (CAN): No. 248 =========> No. 191 (Pospisil does his true ranking a lot of good after qualifying and making the third round in Shanghai. He heads to the Las Vegas Challenger this week).
Andy Murray (GBR): No. 289=========> No. 243 (Another week in Antwerp to try to bump this up a little more, after which he says he’ll re-assess).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Kei Nishikori (JPN): No. 8 =========> No. 9 (The Japanese player remains injured, but remains entered in Vienna and Paris. At No. 12, he’s not completely out of the race to London. But he seems a longshot).
Gael Monfils (FRA): No. 11 =========> No. 13
Kevin Anderson (RSA): No. 18 =========> No. 21 (New dad Anderson drops out of the top 20 for the first time since Aug. 2017. On the plus side, he’s getting quality time at home at the most important moment in his young family’s life).
Borna Coric (CRO): No. 15 =========> No. 22 (Even if quietly, the 22-year-old Croat has been in the top 20 for more than a year. Until this week).
Cristian Garin (CHI): No. 32 =========> No. 38
Sam Querrey (USA): No. 45 =========> No. 50
Kyle Edmund (GBR): No. 42 =========> No. 55 (The Brit, seeded No. 1, lost in the first round of qualifying in Antwerp this weekend, too).
Richard Gasquet (FRA): No. 52 =========> No. 57
Peter Gojowczyk (GER): No. 95 =========> No. 111 (The German has work to do to make sure he gets straight into Australia).
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG): No. 103 =========> No. 121 (The Argentine was due to return this week, but has postponed that at least two more weeks).
Mackenzie McDonald (USA): No. 104 =========> No. 122 (The young American, who was at No. 57 at the end of April, has been out since the French Open and had surgery on his right hamstring in June).
Hyeon Chung (KOR): No. 120 =========> No. 131 (Chung lost in the first round of qualifying in Stockholm to Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, another player who has lost a lot of time to injury).
Bjorn Fratangelo (USA): No. 140 =========> No. 166
RACE TO LONDON
With Stefanos Tsitsipas having qualified, two spots remain in the ATP Tour Finals in London next month.
And with a pair of 500s, plus the Paris Masters, still in play, it could well do down to the wire.
RACE TO MILAN
With Tsitsipas now having qualified for London, the odds of him playing the Next Gen Finals in Milan the week before are fairly slim.
So the cutoff could come down to No. 9. And watch out for young long shot Jannik Sinner, if he can get some wild cards and put up some points.