Mover of the Week
After one of the best week’s since his return from injury Juan Martin del Potro is our Mover of the Week. The Argentine has had some excellent moments since coming back from double surgery on his left wrist, including an Olympic silver medal and a place in last year’s US Open semifinals, and this latest success is another fine achievement. The Argentine battered his way through the draw in Acapulco to lift his first ATP 500 trophy in nearly five years.
He began with a crushing victory over Mischa Zverev, dropping just three games, before accounting for David Ferrer in three sets in the second round. That was followed by victories over Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev, the third and second seeds respectively, in straight sets to reach the final. There he recorded a seventh victory without reply against last year’s US Open finalist Kevin Anderson, again in straight sets. His reward for defeating the big South African was to overhaul him in the rankings, climbing to world #8, his highest ranking since 2014.
The manner of his triumph will also surely give him real confidence going forward. Not only was his forehand firing, but the other elements of his game were working well, including his backhand which he was hitting with real confidence. If del Potro can carry this form into the Sunshine Double he has proven over the course of his career that he can trouble anyone. The Argentine could well be on course to lift his first ever Masters 1000 title soon. And wouldn’t that be a fine achievement.
Loser of the Week
Whilst del Potro was celebrating in Acapulco Sam Querrey must have been looking back at happier times. Last year, the American won the biggest title of his career in what proved to be the best season of his career. The performance he put in to defeat Nadal in the final was nothing short of scintillating and must have fostered the belief that he could mix it with the best of them. He would go on to do so, defeating Andy Murray en route to the last four at Wimbledon before making the quarters in New York.
But this year his trip to Mexico was rather less successful. The American fell at the first hurdle in his title defence attempt, losing to Australia’s Matthew Ebden. After dropping the first set, Querrey rallied to dominate the second, but despite going a break up in the decider he was unable to see the match out. Ebden broke back and held his nerve in a tiebreaker, winning it seven points to five to knock out the defending champion.
As a result of his early exit, Querrey fell 10 places in the ATP Rankings. That left him outside the top 20 at #21 for the first time since August last year. At this point in his career, Querrey has enough to get back inside the top 20. He’s been one of the best performers over the last 18 months and has a good opportunity to gain points in Indian Wells and Miami where he lost second and third round respectively last year. But, for a player who was knocking on the door of the top ten, it’s a setback.
There were some excellent performances across the Tour last week, with Roberto Bautista Agut’s being chief amongst them. The Spaniard won the biggest title of his career in Dubai, joining the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on the honour roll of former champions. The field in Dubai was not the strongest, but Bautista Agut took full advantage to win through, dropping just one set en route to the title. He is now at world #16, just three spots off his career high of #13.
Another to enjoy a good week in Dubai was Malek Jaziri. The Tunisian has been a perennial wild card in the desert, but took full advantage this year during a memorable run that saw him upset world #4 Grigor Dimitrov on his way to the semifinals. There, Bautista Agut had too much for him winning in straight sets, but Jaziri deserves enormous credit for his efforts all the same and climbed 33 places in the rankings to get back inside the top 100 at #84.
Last year’s Paris Masters finalist Filip Krajinovic has been finding some form of late after a difficult start to the season. He had a good week in Dubai, making the semifinals where he pushed Lucas Pouille to a deciding set tiebreak and reached a career high ranking of world #28 as a result. Nicolas Jarry’s fine form continued in Brazil as fresh from making the semis at the ATP 500 in Rio he made a first Tour-level final in Sao Paulo. Though Fabio Fognini got the better of him, the Chilean is now on the verge of breaking into the top 60.
- Roger Federer, 10105 points, no change
- Rafael Nadal, 9460 points, no change
- Marin Cilic, 4870 points, no change
- Grigor Dimitrov, 4635 points, no change
- Alexander Zverev, 4540 points, no change
- Dominic Thiem, 3810 points, no change
- David Goffin, 3280 points, no change
- Juan Martin del Potro, 3200 points, moves up one place
- Kevin Anderson, 3080 points, drops down one place
- Jack Sock, 2650 points, no change
- Stan Wawrinka, 2475 points, moves up one place
- Lucas Pouille, 2455 points, moves up three places
- Novak Djokovic, 2380 points, no change
- Pablo Carreno Busta, 2405 points, moves down three places
- Tomas Berdych, 2275 points, moves up two places
- Roberto Bautista Agut, 2255, moves up seven places
- Diego Schwartzman, 2220 points, moves up one place
- John Isner, 2205 points, moves up one place
- Fabio Fognini, 2190 points, moves up one place
- Nick Kyrgios, 2125 points, drops down four places
Who was your Mover of the Week? Let us know in the comments below!