(Photo credit: REUTERS/Albert Gea)
Mover of the Week
Greece’s teenage starlet Stefanos Tsitsipas impressed in Monte Carlo, defeating Next Gen rival Denis Shapovalov after qualifying into the main draw. Though defeated in the second round by David Goffin, he put in a creditable performance against the Belgian world #10. Accordingly, he came into the Barcelona Open in good spirits. However, few can have seen the quality of performances he delivered in Catalonia coming.
His first win, against Corentin Moutet, a French teenager ranked outside the top 100, was to be expected. But his second, against world #17 Diego Schwartzman, was not. Tsitsipas played an excellent match to rout the Argentinian seventh seed for the loss of just three games, a second bruising loss for Schwartzman in the space of two weeks. Tsitsipas, meanwhile, continued his fine form, defeating Albert Ramos Vinolas, last year a finalist in Monte Carlo, in straight sets 6-4 7-5.
That earned him a quarterfinal clash with Dominic Thiem, the world #7, who has been a semifinalist at Roland Garros twice in the last two years. But Tsitsipas defeated his illustrious opponent with ease 6-3 6-2, although he did have to recover a break early on. Pablo Carreno Busta was the next to fall at Tsitsipas’ hands as the 19-year-old reached the final without having dropped a set. There he had the unenviable task of trying to find a way through Nadal.
Just like everyone else so far this year, he wasn’t able to. With the heavy conditions not helping his cause, he lost 2-6 1-6. But it was a potentially career-making week for Tsitsipas all the same. His ranking rose into the top 50, at world #44, for the first time as a result. And with the remainder of the clay court season to play for Tsitsipas, beginning this week in Estoril, and few points to defend, that ranking could continue to climb over the next few weeks.
Loser of the Week
This year hasn’t been without success for Lucas Pouille, far from it in fact. The Frenchman reached back-to-back finals in Montpellier and Marseille, winning the former. He also reached the title match in Dubai, though he disappointed in a straight sets defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut. The past two weeks have seen more disappointment for the talented 24-year-old. A second round defeat in Monte Carlo after last year’s semifinal appearance was doubtless frustrating.
Doubly disappointing was his straight sets defeat at the hands of John Millman at the Hungarian Open where he was defending champion, having won the inaugural tournament last year. Much of Pouille’s success has come away from the biggest stage of late, keeping his ranking comfortably inside the top despite struggles at the Slams and Masters events. But defeats like that he suffered in Budapest will be a source of real concern to Pouille if they become a habit.
Whilst Pouille was enduring frustration, Marco Cecchinato enjoyed surely the finest week of his career in Hungary. The 25-year-old Italian was only in the main draw as a lucky loser after defeat in the final round of the qualifying. He seized his opportunity with both hands, defeating three seeds, Damir Dzumhur, Jan-Lennard Struff and Andreas Seppi, in a row to reach the final. There he accounted for John Millman in straight sets to lift the first title of his career. It also sees his ranking rise 33 places to a career high 59th in the world.
Defeated though he was, it was also a good week for John Millman. His aforementioned victory over Lucas Pouille was hugely impressive, particularly in being so comprehensive. The 28-year-old is putting together a very solid year, with nine match wins to his name already against just six defeats. He rises 25 places to world #69, just nine places short of his career-best ranking of world #60. Andreas Seppi’s efforts in reaching the semifinals in Budapest earned him a return to the top 50 at world #48.
- Rafael Nadal, 8770 points, no change
- Roger Federer, 8670 points, no change
- Alexander Zverev, 5125 points, moves up one place
- Marin Cilic, 4985 points, moves down one place
- Grigor Dimitrov, 4950 points, no change
- Juan Martin del Potro, 4470 points, no change
- Dominic Thiem, 3545 points, no change
- Kevin Anderson, 3390 points, no change
- John Isner, 3125 points, no change
- David Goffin, 3020 points, no change
- Pablo Carreno Busta, 2440 points, moves up one place
- Novak Djokovic, 2220 points, moves up one place
- Sam Querrey, 2220 points, moves up one place
- Roberto Bautista Agut, 2175 points, moves up one place
- Jack Sock, 2155 points, moves up one place
- Diego Schwartzman, 2060 points, moves up one place
- Tomas Berdych, 2060 points, moves up one place
- Lucas Pouille, 1195 points, drops down four places
- Fabio Fognini, 1840 points, moves up one place
- Milos Raonic, 1835 points, moves up one place
Who was your Mover of the Week? Let us know in the comments below!