The ATP Cup was very good to a few players, who made hay (especially at the No. 1 spot).
As examples, Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz earned 190 points with round-robin victories over Dominic Thiem, Diego Schwartzman and Borna Coric.
Denis Shapovalov earned 150 points with wins over Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev.
And Novak Djokovic earned … 665 points by leading Serbia to the ATP Cup trophy. Given there are no 500-level events leading up to the Australian Open, that’s called maximizing his effort.
Djokovic was 930 points behind Rafael Nadal in the rankings a week ago, after the 90 points from his semifinal effort in Doha to start the 2019 season fell off.
Now, that gap is down to 515 points; Nadal earned 400 points in the ATP Cup,
ON THE UPSWING
Daniil Medvedev (RUS): No. 5 =========> No. 4 (Medvedev snags a top-four seed in Melbourne with a great ATP Cup, while No. 4 Thiem had a no-so-great one).
Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP): No. 10 =========> No. 9 (The Spanish No. 2 at the ATP Cup had a brilliant tournament – he went 6-0 and only once (in the final) even came close to dropping a set. But because he was in a relatively weak pool, playing lower-ranked players until the semifinals, it wasn’t worth all that much in the big picture – just 305 ranking points. Still, his ranking moves up a spot and ties his career high).
Denis Shapovalov (CAN): No. 14 =========> No. 13 (Victories over Tsitsipas and Zverev propel Shapovalov to a career-high ranking.
Andrey Rublev (RUS): No. 23 =========> No. 18 (Rublev wisely took a a pass on the ATP Cup, where as the No. 3 singles player he would have been a well-paid cheerleader. Instead, he played Doha and moves to a career-best ranking with his third career title.
Nick Kyrgios (AUS): No. 29 =========> No. 26 (Kyrgios’s ATP Cup effort helps him in singles, but also helped in doubles as he moved up 20 spots).
Dusan Lajovic (SRB): No. 34 =========> No. 27 (The No. 2 Serb might be the biggest winner from the ATP Cup. In a tough pool, he helped Serbia by being a ock at the No. 2 spot. And he upped his ranking to ensure he would be seeded at the Australian Open).
Daniel Evans (GBR): No. 42 =========> No. 33 (Evans was impressive at the No. 1 spot, inherited when Andy Murray couldn’t go. He went 3-1, earned 200 ranking points (and $236,850 in prize money), and moved his ranking to not only a career high, but a seeded spot at a Slam for the first time).
Hubert Hurkacz (POL): No. 37 =========> No. 34 (The 22-year-old form Poland also put himself into a seeded spot in Melbourne with his 3-0 record at ATP Cup. A year ago, coming into the Australian, he was ranked No. 88).
Casper Ruud (NOR): No. 53 =========> No. 46 (The 21-year-old from Norway and his gang at the ATP Cup certainly looked like they enjoyed their stay; Ruud went 2-1, earned 130 points, and is making his top-50 debut in the rankings with a career high).
Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB): No. 62 =========> No. 53 (The 20-year-old Serb moves up with a semifinal effort in Doha. A year ago, he was at No. 131 to start the season).
Corentin Moutet (FRA): No. 81 =========> No. 70 (The 20-year-old French lefty is at a career-best ranking after rolling from the qualifying to the final in Doha. It’s actually surprising that it wasn’t worth more spot).
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER): No. 79 =========> No. 74 (The 36-year-old former No. 16 wins the Canberra Challenger, which was relocated to Bendigo because of the effect of the bush fires on the air there).
Yuichi Sugita (JPN): No. 100 =========> No. 89
Lloyd Harris (RSA): No. 99 =========> No. 91
Kevin Anderson (RSA): No. 147 =========> No. 121 (Anderson’s return to action at the ATP Cup was impressive, given how long he was out. Despite that shirt).
Steve Darcis (BEL): No. 200 =========> No. 176 (The … retired? Belgian captained the team at the ATP Cup, and played some good tennis, too).
Ulises Blanch (USA): No. 419 =========> No. 265 (That’s a huge jump for the 21-year-old American, who won the 80 Challenger in Ann Arbor, Michigan last week.
ON THE DOWNSWING
Kei Nishikori: (JPN): No. 13 =========> No. 16 (Not ready to start again after an elbow procedure, Nishikori is skipping the entire Australian swing. He won Brisbane a year ago. And he’ll also drop 360 points from a quarterfinal effort at the Australian Open last year. That will drop him out of the top 20).
Alex de Minaur (AUS): No. 18 =========> No. 21 (De Minaur played well in the ATP Cup. But he only earned 140 points; that wasn’t nearly enough to offset the 45 he earned in Brisbane a year ago, and the 250 he got for winning Sydney).
Milos Raonic (CAN): No. 32 =========> No. 35 (It’s hard to know if Raonic will be in form, as he has played so little. But he might be a dangerous, unseeded floater in Melbourne unless, say, someone like Matteo Berrettini pulls out and he can squeeze into the top 32).
Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN): No. 81 =========> No. 92 (The 27-year-old didn’t play ATP Cup, where he would have been the No. 2. And his points from a run through the qualifying and on to the quarters in Brisbane drop off).
Cameron Norrie (GBR): No. 52 =========> No. 62 (The 24-year-old South African-born Brit went 2-2 at the ATP Cup, losing to the nearly-retired Belgian, Steve Darcis and beating two players ranked No. 423 and No. 818. A year ago, he got to the Auckland finals. He lost in the first round of Auckland to qualifier Thiago Monteiro).
Andreas Seppi (ITA): No. 71 =========> No. 84
Leonardo Mayer (ARG): No. 88 =========> No. 100
Tennys Sandgren (USA): No. 68 =========> No. 101 (The American, a quarterfinalist at the Australian Open two years ago, lost in the first round of Doha to eventual finalist Moutet. He won his first and so far only career title in Auckland a year ago, and those points drop off).
Marcel Granollers (ESP): No. 109 =========> No. 129