Mover of the Week
He may not have won the title he most wanted in New York, but Kevin Anderson is still our Mover of the Week. The South African had a terrific fortnight in the Big Apple and made an incredible run to the final, his first at Major level. He may have been able to take advantage of a draw missing some of the sport’s biggest names like Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and defending champion Stan Wawrinka, and upsets that saw Alexander Zverev and 2014 champion Marin Cilic crash out early, but that should take little away from Anderson’s achievement. He also still had to beat some quality players such as Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals and Pablo Carreno Busta in the semi-finals. Ultimately, as predicted by most, Rafael Nadal proved too much for Anderson as the Spaniard won his 16th Slam comfortably 6-3 6-3 6-4.
But despite not winning the title, his exploits were enough to see him rise 17 spots, from 32nd in the world to 15th. Having gone into the final as the lowest ranked Major finalist since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the 2008 Australian Open, Anderson is now in with an outside chance of making the ATP World Tour Finals. He’s up to 11th in the Race to London and, with Djokovic and Wawrinka absent for the rest of the year, its not out of the question that he will feature. To do so, he will have to continue to play as well as he did in New York but, with the fast indoor courts of Asia and Europe suiting his style of play, he’s certainly in with a good chance.
Loser of the Week
For every great fortnight, there’s a bad one. Illya Marchenko earned the unwanted distinction of being our Loser of the Week. Marchenko had the result of his life last year at the US Open, making a run to the last 16. He scored wins over the veteran Ivan Dodig, Damir Dzumhur and the 14th seed Nick Kyrgios to make the fourth round. There he lost valiantly to eventual champion Wawrinka in four sets. This year he fell in less glamourous circumstances to Belgium’s Joris De Loore in three sets in the first round of qualifying. Marchenko must surely be disappointed with such a defeat. De Loore has never been higher than 174th in the rankings and has just one ATP Tour win. Indeed, De Loore went onto lose in the final round of qualifying and has never made the main draw of a Slam.
Marchenko, in contrast, has been as high as 49th in the world and has featured more than once at all the Slams. But those days are just a memory for the Ukrainian now. The points he had from his exploits at the US Open last year had him hovering outside the top 100. But without them, his ranking has fallen dramatically to 286th in the world. That was a decline of 124 places and leaves the Ukrainian facing a long hard road back towards the top 100.
US Open champion Nadal may not have moved in the rankings, but his victory does secure his grip on the top spot. Before the US Open, he was in serious danger of being overhauled by Federer, who had been in far superior form after the clay court season. But with Federer’s quarter-final defeat to Juan Martin del Potro and Nadal’s triumph, he has opened a lead of around 1900 points in the rankings. That may well be enough of a cushion for Nadal to cling onto during the indoor season which he has not traditionally enjoyed. Good runs in Shanghai and Paris at the year’s remaining Masters event should be enough for him to secure the year end number one.
Speaking of Del Potro, the big Argentine deserves enormous credit for his New York exploits. Though he ultimately ran out of energy and ideas against Nadal in the semi-finals, Del Potro reminded the tennis world why they are right to love him. His huge forehand was terrific, and his engagement with the crowd was a joy to watch. Suffering badly from a virus and down two sets against Dominic Thiem in the fourth round, he understandably considered retiring. But the crowd’s support encouraged him to press on and he shocked Thiem and then Federer in the quarter-final. His exploits also saw him return to the top 25. Tennis is all the poorer for his absence, and though he will likely never win another Slam, he can certainly still entertain.
Young guns Denis Shapovalov and Andrey Rublev also deserve recognition for their efforts. Shapovalov’s exciting game has already made him a crowd favourite, but he showed in New York that there is grit to go with the flash. He destroyed Daniil Medvedev in the first round, upset Tsonga in the second and battled past Kyle Edmund in the third. Ultimately, eventual semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta had too much for him, defeating him in three tie breaks. But the Canadian can be hugely proud of his efforts that have seen him rise to within touching distance of the top 50 at number 51. Rublev made his first Slam quarter-final, upsetting Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets along the way. At only 19, he will be confident of more to come, even if he was quite soundly thrashed by Nadal when he got there. Still, he has risen to a career high ranking of 37th.
- Rafael Nadal, 9465 points, no change
- Roger Federer, 7505 points, moves up one place
- Andy Murray, 6790 points, drops down one place
- Alexander Zverev, 4470 points, moves up two places
- Marin Cilic, 4155 points, moves up two places
- Novak Djokovic, 4125 points, drops down one place
- Dominic Thiem, 4030 points, moves up one place
- Stan Wawrinka, 3690 points, drops down four places
- Grigor Dimitrov, 3710 points, moves up two places
- Pablo Carreno Busta, 2855 points, moves up nine places
- Milos Raonic, 2825 points, no change
- David Goffin, 2695 points, moves up two places
- Roberto Bautista Agut, 2525, no change
- Kei Nishikori, 2475 points, drops down one place
- Kevin Anderson, 2470 points, moves up 17 places
- Sam Querrey, 2445 points, moves up five places
- John Isner, 2425 points, drops down two places
- Jo Wilfried Tsonga, 2375 points, drops down six places
- Tomas Berdych, 2355 points, drops down one place
- Nick Kyrgios, 2245 points, drops down three places
- Jack Sock, 2175 points, drops down five places
- Lucas Pouille, 2030 points, drops down two places
- Gilles Muller, 1920 points, no change
- Juan Martin del Potro, 1820 points, moves up four places
- Albert Ramos Vinolas, 1815, drops down one place
Who was your Mover of the Week? Let us know in the comments below!
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