Mover of the Week
The Paris Masters is the final tournament of the regular season and it is also often the stage for some of the biggest shocks in the sport. Hardly a coincidence. Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic added his name to the list of surprises in Bercy with an astonishing run to the final. Coming into the week with just one win on Tour all year he had to qualify into the main draw. He did so defeating Guido Pella and countryman Laslo Djere. He then despatched Yuichi Sugita before upsetting Sam Querrey to reach the third round.
If the Serbian thought he was in dreamland then his week got even better with another upset win against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut. Rafael Nadal posed a daunting challenge in the quarterfinals, but the Spaniard was forced to retire with a knee problem. That sent Krajinovic into the last four where he was up against London hopeful John Isner. The big serving American was a massive favourite, but Krajinovic hung tough and withstood his opponent’s power to become the first qualifier since Janowicz in 2012 to reach the Bercy title match.
There Jack Sock had too much for him as the week seemed to catch up with him and he fell in three-sets 7-5 4-6 1-6. But despite not walking away with the title, he didn’t leave the French capital without reward. Krajinovic climbed 44 rankings spots from world #77 to #33, which should set him up for a productive 2018. Indeed, an injury to one of the top 32 or a good run-up to the Australian Open could even see him receive a seeding at the year’s first Slam.
Loser of the Week
Spain’s Pablo Carreno-Busta had qualification for the World Tour Finals within his grasp. But a dire run of form at the death of the season ruined his chances. His run to the semifinals of the US Open (lost to Anderson) put him in prime position to qualify for the O2. Indeed, it seemed the culmination of a fine season that had seen him make the semifinals in Indian Wells and the quarterfinals at the French Open. But since reaching the last four in New York Carreno Busta has struggled for match wins. He has won just one match across his last five tournaments, losing in his first matches in Beijing, Shanghai, Moscow and finally Bercy.
That final defeat came at the hands of Nicolas Mahut in a straight-sets demolition in which Carreno Busta never looked like winning. He fell 4-6 1-6 to leave him reliant on other results. Although Sam Querrey, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille obliged him by losing early, others went deeper. Juan Martin del Potro threatened his spot but was ultimately stopped by Isner in the quarterfinals, one win away from London. Isner himself had a chance of qualifying, needing to win the tournament to do so. Krajinovic saved Carreno Busta by toppling the American. But Jack Sock clinched the final spot with the title to deny Carreno Busta what may well have been his best chance of appearing at the season-ending championships.
It would be wrong not to mention Jack Sock after his hugely impressive triumph in Paris. The American was superb all week, defeating Edmund, Pouille, Verdasco and then the retiring Benneteau to reach the final. He was understandably elated after capturing the fourth and unquestionably biggest singles title of his career. A place in the top 10 at world #9, a rise of 13 spots, was also doubtless a bonus.
Despite losing early in Paris, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov all found themselves at career high rankings this week. Zverev climbed to world #3 after a year in which he won two Masters titles in Rome and Montreal. Thiem reached a second French Open semifinal and entered the top four for the first time in his career. Dimitrov too has had a fine season, winning his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati and sits at world #6.
Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Paul Henri Mathieu hung up their racquets after the conclusion of the tournament in Bercy. Benneteau had a thrilling run to the semifinals with an emotional victory over Marin Cilic one of the standout performances of the week. Mathieu bowed out in quieter circumstances, losing in the singles qualifying draw and the first round of the doubles partnered with compatriot Benoit Paire. But both men can look back on magnificent careers. Benneteau won the French Open doubles title and reached a career high ranking of #25 in singles despite never winning a title. Mathieu reached as high as world #12 and won four titles at Tour-level.
- Rafael Nadal, 10645 points, no change
- Roger Federer, 9005 points, no change
- Alexander Zverev, 4410 points, moves up one place
- Dominic Thiem, 3815 points, moves up two places
- Marin Cilic, 3805 points, no change
- Grigor Dimitrov, 3650 points, moves up two places
- Stan Wawrinka, 3150 points, moves up two places
- David Goffin, 2975 points, moves up two places
- Jack Sock, 2765 points, moves up thirteen places
- Pablo Carreno Busta, 2615 points, moves up one place
- Juan Martin del Potro, 2595 points, moves up six places
- Novak Djokovic, 2585 points, drops down five places
- Sam Querrey, 2535 points, no change
- Kevin Anderson, 2480 points, moves up two places
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 2320 points, no change
- Andy Murray, 2290 points, drops down sixteen places
- John Isner, 2265 points, drops down three places
- Lucas Pouille, 2235 points, no change
- Tomas Berdych, 2095 points, no change
- Roberto Bautista Agut, 2015 points, moves up three places
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