There was no change in the top 20, as the week after the first major of the season featured tournaments in Montpellier, Cordoba and Pune, India.
All offered 250-level points and opportunities for big leaps as few of the top players were in action.
The one to take best advantage of it was Canadian Vasek Pospisil.
The 29-year-old, about a year removed from back surgery, finished 2019 strongly to get his comeback on track. Last week, he stood out in Montpellier.
He upset countryman Denis Shapovalov and No. 2 seed David Goffin before falling to home favorite and top seed Gaël Monfils in the final.
Pospisil inches close to the top 100 with the move. And if he can recover well, he has an opportunity as a special exempt at the 500 in Rotterdam. The draw wasn’t kind – he’ll face top seed Daniil Medvedev. But he’s played a lot more good tennis in the last few weeks than the idle Russian.
ON THE UPSWING
Cristian Garin (CHI): No. 31 ========> No. 26 (The 23-year-old from Chile hits a career high as he caps three consecutive comeback wins in Cordoba with a three-set win over top seed Diego Schwartzman to win the title. Garin has a final to defend in a couple of weeks, so this was a great buffer).
Laslo Djere (SRB): No. 39 ========> No. 35 (Djere made the Cordoba semis, and is another player who made a major move on the South American clay a year ago. He beat Félix Auger-Aliassime in the Rio finals (next week), and backed that up with another win over the Canadian on his way to the Sao Paulo semis, where he lost to Pella. Rankings pressure here, too).
Filip Krajinovic (SRB): No. 44 ========> No. 39 (Krajinovic had a fairly sweet draw as he reached the Montpellier semis (Couacaud, Ymer, Barrere), but fell to eventual champion Monfils in the semis).
Egor Gerasimov (BLR): No. 90========> No. 71 (At 27 and after a decade as a pro, the Belarussian’s work is producing results. Gerasimov reached his first career final in Pune and lost a tough three-setter to eventual champion Vesely. He reaches a career rankings high.
Jiri Vesely (CZE): No. 107 ========> No. 72 (The 26-year-old, who was as high as 35 five years ago, is back in the conversation after winning the Pune tournament. He won his only other Tour event five years ago in Auckland. Vesely is a former junior No. 1 (nine long years ago). He won junior Australian Open in 2011 and reached the US Open junior final, where he beat Kyle Edmund in the semis. It’s a process).
James Duckworth (AUS): No. 96 ========> No. 83 (The 28-year-old, starting his second decade as a pro, has kept plugging away and is now one short of a career high reached nearly five years ago. He reached the semis in Pune).
Vasek Pospisil (CAN): No. 132 ========> No. 104 (Pospisil was well outside the top 200 at one point during this return from back surgery. A finals effort in Montpellier – notably, with a semifinal win over David Goffin when he was absolutely running on fumes in the third set – brings him less than 50 points from the top 100).
Mohamed Safwat (EGY): No. 157 ========> No. 130 (Safwat, a 29-year-old from Egypt, reaches a career high after winning his first career Challenger title in Launceston, Tasmania).
Jurij Rodionov (AUT): No. 362 ========> No. 232 (The 20-year-old from Austria leaps … 130 spots in the rankings after winning the Challenger in Dallas, Texas last week. He dropped only one set on the way to the title).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Guido Pella (ARG): No. 22 ========> No. 27 (The 29-year-old Argentine lost a contentious one to Corentin Moutet in his Cordoba opener. He was a finalist there a year ago, and a semifinalist in this week’s tournament Buenos Aires and a champion at the Sao Paulo event at the end of February. So there are lot of points to defend).
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA): No. 33 ========> No. 46 (Tsonga’s Oz Open injury forced him to pull out of the European indoor circuit, always a profitable one for the country’s players. He won Montpellier a year ago, and made the quarters in Rotterdam. So another 90 points will drop off next week and cost him another few spots. And he worked SO hard to get back to the upper levels, too).
Marton Fucsovics (HUN): No. 53 ========> No. 66 (The Hungarian, so impressive at the Australian Open in reaching the second week, drops some of his gains after not defending his final effort in Sofia, Bulgaria a year ago. He qualified in Rotterdam, where he was a quarterfinalist in 2019. And he’ll face Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round).
Juan Ignacio Londero (ARG): No. 50 ========> No. 69 (The players who come out of the woodwork to post career results on the South American clay sometimes have a hard time backing up that result the following year. And so the efforts of Londero, a 26-year-old Argentine who was at a career high last week, were noteworthy with a quarterfinal last week (a tough third-set tiebreak loss to Djere), but not enough. Londero, a wild card, defeated countrymen Delbonis and Pella in the final two rounds and took the Cordoba title last year in its inaugural edition.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA): No. 67 ========> No. 78 (Herbert, who was at a career-best No. 36 in singles exactly a year ago, lost in the quarters in Montpellier. He reached the final a year ago, beating Shapovalov in the quarters and Tomas Berdych in the semis before losing to Tsonga).
Brayden Schnur (CAN): No. 118 ========> No. 121 (Schnur has a big week coming up, where he defends his first career ATP Tour final at the New York Open).
Hyeon Chung (KOR): No. 138 ========> No. 139 (The 23-year-old former top-20 player has gone underground again, as he hasn’t played since Vienna last October. His inability to stay healthy has made his career a star-crossed one so far. He’s still young. But like all of us, he’s not as young as he used to be).