Mover of the Week
In an all-French final, it was Lucas Pouille who came out on top showing there is plenty of motivation late in the season even for the players for whom the O2 is a dream far beyond their grasp. Earlier in the season, after a breakout 2016 where he made two Major quarterfinals, Pouille was being touted as a potential Top 10 player. He won a title in Budapest on the clay, and also made a run to the semis in Monte Carlo, before picking up his second title of the year in Stuttgart. He reached a career-high ranking of world #13 and was playing superbly. Then his form abandoned him and early losses at Wimbledon, the US Open and throughout the Asian swing, saw him fall out of the Top 20. But in the Austrian capital he was back to his best.
He played superbly all week, battling hard to make it into the final with victories over Offner, Garcia-Lopez, Gasquet and Edmund. There he faced the last seed standing, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who came into the final as a heavy favourite. But Pouille destroyed his compatriot. He took the final with a 6-1 6-4 win to lift the biggest title of his career. As a result, he earned a seven spot rise in the ATP Rankings and good performances in Bercy could see him rise further to within the world’s best 16. That could be crucial ahead of the Australian Open in January where it would protect him from the elite players until the fourth round.
Loser of the Week
Croatia’s Marin Cilic had an excellent chance to finish at a career-high world #4 or even higher this year. But that chance seems to have escaped him after a defeat in the semifinals in Basel where he was defending champion. Overall, it has been a slightly disappointing end to the season after the highs of reaching the final at Wimbledon. Injury prevented him from having a shot at winning the title in SW19 and also saw him miss out on much of the North American hardcourt swing. Still, he was in good position coming into the Asian swing. But he wasn’t able to get across the line in the biggest matches. He lost three successive semifinals in Tokyo, Shanghai and Basel and now sits at #5 in the rankings and in the Race. With Dimitrov hot on his tail, he could even finish at #6. That would be a fine achievement for most, but a disappointment for someone of Cilic’s quality this season.
Finalists in Basel and Vienna Juan Martin del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga kept their London dreams alive with excellent weeks. Del Potro smashed his way through the Basel draw, knocking out fellow seeds Roberto Bautista Agut and Marin Cilic on his way to the final. There the ‘Tower of Tandil’ ran Federer close before the volume of matches he has played in the past few weeks seemed to catch up with his legs. Ultimately, the Swiss proved too clinical for him and was a deserved victor. But a good tournament in Bercy with results going his way could see him make the final eight. For Tsonga, the final defeat to Pouille was perhaps more disappointing. But like del Potro, he has played some fine tennis lately, and like del Potro is not yet out of the running for London. Both deserve credit for that.
Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber returned to the top 30 after a run to the semifinals in Vienna. The veteran played excellent tennis in Austria and scored impressive wins over the higher ranked John Isner and Diego Schwartzman. Tsonga had too much for him in a tight semifinal, but he can be proud of his efforts and will almost certainly now enjoy a seeding at the Australian Open. Fellow Vienna semifinalist Kyle Edmund will doubtless be questioning how he lost another Tour-level semifinal. But defeated though he was, his efforts in making the last four earned him a 13 spot rise to world #50. Finishing a second consecutive year within the Top 50 would mark solid progress for the Briton and he now has the chance to do just that.
- Rafael Nadal, 10465 points, no change
- Roger Federer, 8505 points, no change
- Andy Murray, 5290 points, no change
- Alexander Zverev, 4400 points, no change
- Marin Cilic, 4185 points, no change
- Dominic Thiem, 3935 points, no change
- Novak Djokovic, 3765 points, no change
- Grigor Dimitrov, 3650 points, no change
- Stan Wawrinka, 3450 points, no change
- David Goffin, 2975 points, no change
- Pablo Carreno Busta, 2855 points, no change
- Milos Raonic, 2555 points, no change
- Sam Querrey, 2525 points, moves up one place
- John Isner, 2505 points, drops down one place
- Jo Wilfried Tsonga, 2490 points, no change
- Kevin Anderson, 2470 points, moves up one place
- Juan Martin del Potro, 2435 points, moves up two places
- Lucas Pouille, 2235 points, moves up seven places
- Tomas Berdych, 2230 points, no change
- Kei Nishikori, 2175 points, drops down four places
- Nick Kyrgios, 2010 points, drops down one place
- Jack Sock, 1945 points, moves up one place
- Roberto Bautista Agut, 1935 points, drops down one place
- Albert Ramos Vinolas, 1888 points, drops down two places
- Diego Schwartzman, 1720 points, moves up one place
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