There’s another week still to go before the rest of the top players come trickling back onto the circuit, after a post-Australian Open break.
But in the meantime, the typically wacky February things are happening.
On Long Island, an unseeded 21-year-old and a 23-year-old qualifier squared off looking for their maiden Tour title.
In Rotterdam, two warhorses emerged from injury funks (one of them a wild card) to produce a display so entertaining, it’s yet another example of why there’s no rush for the current generation of 30-somethings to leave the game.
And in Buenos Aires, a local fellow named Diego Schwartzman reached both the singles and doubles finals – and won a total of five games.
Next week, with events in Marseille, Rio and Delray Beach, offers promises of similar nutsiness.
ON THE UPSWING
Kei Nishikori (JPN): No. 7 ————-> No. 6 (With his effort in Rotterdam, Nishikori slips past Roger Federer by 90 points)
Daniil Medvedev (RUS): No. 16 ————-> No. 15 (Another career high for Medvedev, who is 14-3 on the season so far).
Marco Cecchinato (ITA): No. 17 ————-> No. 16 (The Italian’s title in Buenos Aires only moved him up one spot. But it’s a new career best).
Gael Monfils (FRA): No. 33 ————-> No. 23 (The Rotterdam champion puts himself back into the seeded conversation, as he should be).
Stan Wawrinka (SUI): No. 68 ————-> No. 41 (It’s been a long road back after two knee surgeries. But Wawrinka has to be encouraged by his recent performances).
Reilly Opelka (USA): No. 89 ————-> No. 56 (A career high, a maiden Tour title. Good week on Long Island for the 21-year-old American).
Pablo Cuevas (URU): No. 78 ————-> No. 63
Jaume Munar (ESP): No. 77 ————-> No. 66 (Just 21, the Spaniard might have coughed up a near-certain victory in Buenos Aires. But he’s at a career-high rankings.
Ernests Gulbis (LAT): No. 84 ————-> No. 74 (He’s a long way from his top-10 days. But Gulbis’s ranking hasn’t been this high since Aug. 2016. A year ago he was No. 199).
Ugo Humbert (FRA): No. 88 ————-> No. 75 (The young French lefty is sneaking up in the rankings in a hurry).
Brayden Schnur (CAN): No. 154 ————-> No. 107 (A breakout week on Long Island officially launches the Canadian’s pro career).
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA): No. 140 ————-> No. 112 (Tsonga is playing on a protected ranking. But his level is cause for optimism – and he has nothing to defend).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Roger Federer (SUI): No. 6 ————-> No. 7 (The defending champion didn’t defend in Rotterdam. But it didn’t cost him much).
David Goffin (BEL): No. 21 ————-> No. 24
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL): No. 24 ————-> No. 31 (Injured, the Bulgarian already is out of Acapulco. It’s his first time out of the top 30 since Aug. 2016 . Fifteen months ago, he was No. 3).
Sam Querrey (USA): No. 49 ————-> No. 57
Feliciano Lopez (ESP): No. 62 ————-> No. 67
Tomas Berdych (CZE): No. 59 ————-> No. 71
Federico Delbonis (ARG): No. 64 ————-> No. 80
Aljaz Bedene (SLO): No. 57 ————-> No. 83
Andrey Rublev (RUS): No. 99 ————-> No. 115 (This kid is really good, and should be in the conversation with fellow Russian young guns Medvedev and Khachanov. Bit it’s taking a while).
Viktor Troicki (SRB): No. 221 ————-> No. 243 (He’s only 33, but you wonder, realistically, how long he’ll continue playing).
Andreas Seppi (ITA): No. 40 ————-> No. 52