Mover of the Week
Who else but the newly crowned #1 Roger Federer could claim this title this week? The Swiss star was a late entrant into the Rotterdam Open where he knew that a place in the semifinals would be enough to return him to the pinnacle of the world rankings for the first time since 2012. He didn’t have it all his own way under the roof of the Ahoy Rotterdam, yet there was none the less a feeling of inevitably about his onward march.
Beginning with a crushing win over Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans that took just 47 minutes and saw him hit more winners than his opponent won points Federer impressed all week. Philipp Kohlschreiber, an injured Robin Haase and Andreas Seppi also gave their best against Federer and were found wanting. That saw him through to the final where Grigor Dimitrov waited. The Bulgarian is superbly talented but has a serious mental block against Federer and was brushed aside 6-2 6-2 in a rather dull affair.
For Federer it was #1 joy capped by a 97th career title. All in all an excellent week for the Swiss. He first ascended to the top of the rankings in 2004; none of his fellow members of the top 10 then are still playing. Few of his current rivals had started playing. There can be no doubt that luck has played a big role in Federer’s late career resurgence, but he still deserves enormous credit. With Nadal, Djokovic and Murray all out injured with the time and nature of their resurgence uncertain Federer can say he has outlasted them. And that is an achievement to be proud of.
Loser of the Week
Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert’s main focus has always been understandably on his doubles career. He’s one of the world’s best in the discipline and he and compatriot Nicolas Mahut have a very successful partnership with Wimbledon and US Open trophies to their names. But he has always kept up a singles career with some success. And one of his finest weeks as a singles player came last year in Rotterdam.
As a qualifier he battled all the way through to the last four accounting for second seeded Dominic Thiem on the way. In the semifinals he was dismissed by David Goffin but there was no shame in losing to the Belgian who was himself on his way to a berth in the top ten. This year, however, it was a rather less successful trip to the Netherlands for Herbert.
After again qualifying into the main draw in the first round he played only four games as his opponent Richard Gasquet, whose injury concerns are becoming more pronounced, was forced to withdraw. Then in the second round he was defeated by the unorthodox Russian Medvedev in three sets despite winning the first. That early loss saw his ranking take a hit and he fell 19 places down to #99. He will be wary of falling outside the top 100 and will be looking for some good results to give him some breathing room ahead of the European clay court season.
It was a fine week for Aljaz Bedene at the Argentina Open. The Slovenian-born player who has recently returned to representing his birth nation after a period of playing under the British flag played good tennis all week to make the final on the clay courts at Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club. He defeated clay court specialists Albert Ramos Vinolas and Diego Schwartzman back-to-back to make the semifinals where he accounted for home hope Delbonis. Thiem ultimately had too much for him in the final but Bedene still climbed to a career high of #43.
US Open finalist Kevin Anderson had another excellent week in the Big Apple. At the inaugural New York Open held on Long Island the South African fought his way through the draw to win his fourth career title, defeating Sam Querrey in three sets in the final. It returned him to the top ten at a career high ranking of world #9. Anderson’s power and big serve can make him a dangerous opponent for anyone on his day and he will be one to watch in Indian Wells and Miami.
2017 was a hugely frustrating year for the mercurial Gael Monfils. After 2016 saw him put together one of his best years on Tour and focus on winning rather than entertaining he was rewarded with a place in the year-end top 10. But injuries derailed his 2017 campaign and by January of this year he was outside the top 50. But he has been playing well since, winning in Qatar and last week made the semifinals in Argentina. He is now back in the top 40 and will be looking to continue his upward trajectory.
- Roger Federer, 10105 points, moves up one place
- Rafael Nadal, 9760 points, drops down one place
- Marin Cilic, 4960 points, no change
- Grigor Dimitrov, 4635 points, moves upone place
- Alexander Zverev, 4450 points, drops down one place
- Dominic Thiem, 4220 points, no change
- David Goffin, 3280 points, no change
- Jack Sock, 2880 points, no change
- Kevin Anderson, 2825 points, moves up two places
- Juan Martin del Potro, 2815 points, drops down one place
- Pablo Carreno Busta, 2660 points, moves down one place
- Sam Querrey, 2595 points, no change
- Stan Wawrinka, 2475 points, no change
- Novak Djokovic, 2470 points, no change
- Nick Kyrgios, 2395 points, no change
- Lucas Pouille, 2235 points, no change
- Tomas Berdych, 2320 points, no change
- John Isner, 2205 points, no change
- Albert Ramos Vinolas, 1985 points, moves up one place
- Andy Murray, 1960 points, moves up one place
Who was your Mover of the Week? Let us know in the comments below!