Emirates ATP Rankings Update: Federer Back To Number 4, Fognini Up 12 Places - UBITENNIS
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Emirates ATP Rankings Update: Federer Back To Number 4, Fognini Up 12 Places

Joshua Coase

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Roger Federer lifts the Miami Open trophy

Following the Miami Open, Roger Federer’s rise up the rankings has continued and it was also a profitable week for Fabio Fognini. Meanwhile, three American’s have made significant climbs in the rankings, making them the biggest movers of the week. Here are the latest updates on the Emirates ATP Rankings and the Race To London.

 

The Miami Open concluded on Sunday, with Roger Federer being crowned as the champion after he defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4. The Swiss completed the ‘Sunshine Double’ for the second time in his career following his victory in Indian Wells a couple of weeks ago. These points, added to his Australian Open triumph in January, have seen him rise two places in the rankings, up to four in the world.

Perhaps what is more notable for Federer is the lead which he is enjoying at the top of Race To London rankings. Based on this season’s results alone, the Swiss boasts three titles and a 20-1 record, meaning that he is already sitting on 4,045 points, 1810 points clear of Nadal, who sits in second place. Just to put into context how far ahead he is of the world’s current top two player’s in the world, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, the Brit is currently 12th in the race with 840 points. What comes as more of a surprise is that Djokovic, who completed the sunshine double last season, as well as winning in Melbourne, is down at 22nd in the race and only has 475 points, 3,570 less than Federer.

It is no secret that Federer has desires to get back to the top of the rankings and that is certainly a possibility for the 18-time Grand Slam champion this year. The Swiss trails world number one Murray by 6,655 points as it stands, but the Brit has plenty of points to defend in the coming months having won in Rome, Queen’s Club and Wimbledon last year, as well as reaching the final at the French Open and in Madrid. By contrast, Federer has little points to defend and can make up plenty of ground, even if he is to skip the Masters 1000 series events in Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Rome, which he hinted at after his victory in Miami.

Nadal may have suffered defeat in a final for the third time this season (Australian Open, Acapulco, Miami), but there are plenty of positives to take as he heads into the clay court season, a surface which he can very much dominate on. The Spaniard has climbed two places in the world rankings up to fifth, overtaking Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori, who has slipped three places having failed to defends his points in Miami.

It was Fabio Fognini who ousted Nishikori last week at the quarterfinal stages, making it a memorable event for the Italian, who celebrated reaching just the second Masters 1000 series semifinal of his career. It did not go as well as he would have liked when going up against Nadal, leaving the court having suffered a 6-1, 7-5 defeat, but the Italian will benefit from a big boost in his ranking. Fognini has climbed back into the world’s top 30, ranked at 28, climbing 12 places.

It was also a great week for three Americans, all of which have enjoyed significant improvements in their rankings. Donald Young is getting back to the level which he showed five years ago. The 27-year-old reached the last 16 in Indian Wells and backed up that performance in Miami, also reaching the last 16, before succumbing to Fognini 6-0, 6-4. That achievement has seen Young move up nine places up to world number 42, just four places shy of his career high ranking of 38, which he reached way back in February 2012.

Young’s compatriot Jared Donaldson also had a memorable fortnight on home soil after he also reached the last 16. The 20-year-old saved three match points against young British talent Kyle Edmund in round one and rolled on from there, eventually being halted by fellow American Jack Sock, who won 6-2, 6-1. These results have taken the young American firmly inside the world’s top 100, up 20 places to a career high ranking of 75. Donaldson is the biggest mover of the week.

19-year-old Frances Tiafoe has also shown a lot of potential of late and put in a highly commendable performance against Federer in the second round, particularly in the first set, as he fell to the Swiss 7-6(2), 6-3. Tiafoe is back inside the world’s top 100 this week, climbing 12 places back up to 89, three places below his career high ranking which he reached one month ago.

The ATP World Tour now takes a week’s break, but will return on April 10th with ATP 250 level events taking place in Houston and Marrakech, meaning that there are plenty of points on offer to those just below the upper echelons of the game who are looking to improve their ranking.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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