Mover of the Week
It has been an excellent six months for Diego Schwartzman and his run to the title in Rio is perhaps the highlight of the entire period. The Argentine played some excellent tennis as he battled through a tough draw and didn’t drop a set all tournament. Starting with a victory over Casper Ruud who was forced to retire after only five games, he then defeated Federico Delbonis and Gael Monfils to make the semifinals.
There he faced off against 22-year-old Chilean Nicolas Jarry who had made a surprise run to the semifinals. Jarry worked hard in the first set and met Schwartzman blow for blow until he slipped right at the end and was broken. That seemed to dent his self-belief massively, and Jarry never managed to recover. Two more breaks in the second set wrapped up a 7-5 6-2 win for Schwartzman as he moved into the first ATP 500 final of his career.
There the diminutive star defeated Fernando Verdasco in straight sets losing just five games. That result was made even more impressive by the form Verdasco had been in coming into the match, defeating Thiem and Fognini in straight sets. The win also sent Schwartzman into the top 20 at a new career high ranking of world #18. With the European clay court swing approaching Schwartzman could well climb even higher up the rankings. A top 15 ranking by Roland Garros is eminently achievable for the 25-year-old.
Loser of the Week
Norway’s Casper Ruud’s results in Rio last year were astonishing. Then just 18-years-old he played some terrific tennis to make his way to the semifinals. He defeated clay court veterans Dutra Silva, Carballes Baena and Monteiro to reach the last four. There he gave Pablo Carreno Busta, who would reach the French Open quarterfinals and US Open semifinals later in the year, a real test. Ultimately the Spaniard had too much for the young gun, but it was a memorable week for Ruud all the same.
It was also one that sent him soaring up the rankings, and though he didn’t quite manage to break the top 100 he came close, peaking at world #108. The future looked bright for Ruud, but an injury setback cost him in Rio this year. He was, as mentioned above, only able to complete five games of his first round match against Schwartzman and that early retirement has seen him tumble down the rankings as he fell 67 places this week.
Ruud is still young, just 19, and his rankings fall is certainly not yet a cause to panic. But it is a set back for the Norwegian. Now ranked 187th in the world he will have his work cut out if he wants to finish in the top 100 at the end of the year, which was surely his goal coming into this season. There will be other chances for him, but this will be a week he would rather forget.
Having long been hailed as a prodigious talent for the future Frances Tiafoe announced himself in full to the tennis world this week in Delray Beach. The 19-year-old fought his way through the draw defeating his idol Juan Martin del Potro as well as Denis Shapovalov, with whom he is sure to have many clashes in the future, in the semifinals. In the title match he thrashed Peter Gojowczyk 6-1 6-4 to lift his first career title and he climbs 30 spots to a career high ranking of #61. It could well be a good year for the young American.
Russia’s Karen Khachanov was also in the winner’s circle this week. The big-hitting 21-year-old picked up his second career title in Marseille, defeating home hope Lucas Pouille in an excellent final. Khachanov has struggled for form since reaching the fourth round at Roland Garros, but this could well mark a turn around for him. Defeated Rio finalist Fernando Verdasco returned to the top 30 after his efforts in Brazil, climbing 13 spots to world #27. His new ranking is a better reflection of his undeniable talent, but the Spaniard will have to continue to work hard if he wants the good results to go on.
- Roger Federer, 10105 points, no change
- Rafael Nadal, 9760 points, no change
- Marin Cilic, 4960 points, no change
- Grigor Dimitrov, 4635 points, no change
- Alexander Zverev, 4450 points, no change
- Dominic Thiem, 3810 points, no change
- David Goffin, 3280 points, no change
- Kevin Anderson, 2825 points, moves up one place
- Juan Martin del Potro, 2745 points, moves up one place
- Jack Sock, 2650 points, drops down two places
- Sam Querrey, 2595 points, moves up one place
- Stan Wawrinka, 2475 points, moves up one place
- Novak Djokovic, 2470 points, moves up one place
- Pablo Carreno Busta, 2405 points, moves down three places
- Lucas Pouille, 2335 points, moves up one place
- Nick Kyrgios, 2305 points, drops down one place
- Tomas Berdych, 2275 points, no change
- Diego Schwartzman, 2220 points, moves up five places
- John Isner, 2205 points, drops down one place
- Fabio Fognini, 1985 points, moves up one place
Who was your Mover of the Week? Let us know in the comments below!