Mover of the Week
Though it was a fantastic fortnight for a number of players, only Novak Djokovic could be crowned Mover of the Week. The Serbian claimed the Wimbledon title, defeating Anderson in the final, to end his two-year drought at Slam-level. To do he delivered a series of excellent performances that decisively laid to rest doubts about whether he would ever get back to his best after a battle with form and an elbow injury that had required surgery in February.
After dismissing Tennys Sandgren and Horacio Zeballos, he faced his first test against British #1 Kyle Edmund in the third round. But he overcame the Yorkshireman and a partisan crown to win 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4. He then conquered Karen Khachanov in the fading light in the fourth round and beat Kei Nishikori in four to reach the semifinals. There he and Rafael Nadal played out another classic in their 52nd meeting, one Djokovic eventually won 6-4 3-6 7-6 3-6 10-8 to reach the final.
There he dispatched a weary looking Kevin Anderson, who had played over 21 hours of tennis to reach the final. Anderson had almost nothing left to give, but did well to make the third set a contest before falling 2-6 2-6 6-7. For Djokovic the title surely brought immense relief that he could challenge again, but also a rankings jump of 11 places. That takes him back to his proper place in the top 10 at world #10. But with the fire lit anew, and no points to defend, expect him to rise higher and soon.
Loser of the Week
After the best season of his career in 2017, Sam Querrey has struggled to hit the same heights this year. The American’s best performances of that great year came at Wimbledon where he knocked out the defending champion and world #1 for the second straight year running, that time accounting for Andy Murray in five sets in the quarterfinals. That sent him into his first-ever Grand Slam semifinal and after reaching the last eight in New York, he was close to making his top ten bow.
But tennis is a sport that requires good results to be repeated year on year for players to stay at the top of the game, and Querrey has struggled with that. His title defence in Acapulco was ended in the first round by Matthew Ebden and his form has hardly picked up since. He came into Wimbledon needing wins, and though he got past Jordan Thompson and Sergiy Stahkovsky to reach the third round, he came unstuck there against Gael Monfils in four.
As a result of his early exit, the majority of the points he was defending fell off, leaving Querrey to tumble down the rankings. He now finds himself at world #28, fifteen places down from his ranking of 13th in the world at the start of Wimbledon. That leaves him in danger of facing a member of the top ten as early as the third round in New York. Querrey will know he will need to work hard over the coming hard court tournaments in North America to get his ranking moving back in the right direction.
In making the semifinals for the first time since 2011, Rafael Nadal may not have actually moved up the rankings, but he did further tighten his grasp on the #1 ranking. He played some excellent tennis all fortnight, with his back-to-back five-setters against Juan Martin del Potro and Djokovic unquestionably two of the matches of the year. He might well have won both, but as it is, thanks in part to Roger Federer’s quarterfinal exit, he now has a lead of more than 2k points atop the rankings.
In an unexpectedly excellent late career revival, Kevin Anderson has now reached two Grand Slam finals inside a year. His best previous result was a lone quarterfinal appearance at the US Open in 2015. But, his fine work on the court, which included a 2-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 13-11 victory over Roger Federer from match point down in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, sees the big serving South African reach a new career-high ranking of world #5. Expect more from him in North America.
1. Rafael Nadal, (Esp), 9310 points, no change
2. Roger Federer (Swi), 7080 points, no change
3. Alexander Zverev (Ger), 5665 points, no change
4. Juan Martin del Potro (Arg), 5395 points, no change
5. Kevin Anderson (SA), 4655 points, moves up three places
6. Grigor Dimitrov (Bul), 4610 points, no change
7. Marin Cilic (Cro), 3905 points, drops down two places
8. John Isner (US), 3720 points, moves up two places
9. Dominic Thiem (Aut), 3665 points, drops down two places
10. Novak Djokovic (Ser), 3355 points, moves up eleven places
11. David Goffin (Bel), 3120 points, drops down two places
12. Diego Schwartzman (Arg), 2470 points, drops down one place
13. Pablo Carreno Busta (Esp), 2155 points, drops down one place
14. Jack Sock (US), 2075 points, moves up one place
15. Fabio Fognini (Ita), 2030 points, moves up one place
16. Kyle Edmund (GB), 1995 points, moves up one place
17. Roberto Bautista Agut (Esp), 1940 points, drops three places
18. Nick Kyrgios (Aus), 1935 points, no change
19. Lucas Pouille (Fra), 1835 points, no change
20. Kei Nishikori (Jpn), 1800 points, moves up eight places
Who was your Mover of the Week? Let us know in the comments below!