By Jürgen Fritz, Mon 14 Feb 2022, Cover photo: © JFB
Felix Auger-Aliassime won the 500 tournament in Rotterdam, Reilly Opelka and Casper Ruud the 250 tournaments in Dallas and Buenos Aires. The week before Alexander Bublik won the 250 tournament in Montpellier, Albert Ramos-Vinolas the one in Cordoba and Joao Sousa in Pune. As a result, Auger-Aliassime rises from 10 to 7 in the JFB Ranking, Opelka from 24 to 18.
Felix Auger-Aliassime wins his first ATP tournament
At the ninth attempt he finally did it: Felix Auger-Aliassime swept Stefanos Tsitsipas, the world No. 4, off the court yesterday in the Rotterdam final in 77 minutes with 6:4, 6:2. The likeable Canadian had lost all of his first eight finals. By winning his first singles tournament and that at a 500 event (D category), the 21-year-old rises from 10 to 7 in the JFB 52 Week Tennis World Ranking.
In the semi-finals on Saturday night, Auger-Aliassime had beaten defending Rotterdam champion Andrey Rublev in three sets 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-2. Rublev, who won five tournaments in singles in the short pandemic 2020 season (60 per cent season) and the tournament in Rotterdam a year ago, could not defend a single one of his six singles titles in the following 12 months and did not win any other singles tournament, was only successful for Russia in the Davis Cup in December together with Medvedev. He now drops to 8 in the JFB Ranking.
And for Tsitsipas it remains the case that he cannot win any D tournaments (ATP 500). Five of his seven tournament wins came in smaller 250 events (E category), one in a Masters 1000 event (C) and once he won the ATP Finals (B). In D tournaments, on the other hand, he has now reached the final for the eighth time and lost all eight.
Opelka ist the new No. 1 in the USA
After his win last night in the Dallas final, Reilly Opelka is the new US No. 1. And the US now has a player in the top 20 again in the JFB 52 Week Tennis World Rankings. Opelka beat his 21-year-old compatriot Jenson Brooksby in the final, who I personally think is very strong, in my opinion the biggest US talent besides Sebastian Korda, with 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3).
In the semi-finals, Opelka had knocked out another compatriot, John Isner, by the same score of 7-6, 7-6, playing the longest tiebreak ever in an ATP match in the second set. The 2.11-metre tall Opelka won this against the 2.08-metre tall Isner in a duel of the service giants with 24-22. 36-year-old John Isner also holds the record for the longest match of all times. In 2010, he beat Nicolas Mahut in the first round at Wimbledon after 11:05 hours (!) with 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6 and 70-68.
The previous USA No. 1, 24-year-old Taylor Fritz, No. 21 in the JFB rankings, was surprisingly eliminated in the quarter-finals by Marcos Giron, who then lost to Brooksby (rising from 45 to 40) in the semi-finals. For the 24-year-old Opelka, it is the third ATP tournament win in his career after New York 2019 and Delray Beach 2020, like Dallas both US 250 tournaments (E category). In the JFB ranking, Opelka rises from 24th to 18th.
Sixth tournament win in twelve months for Casper Ruud
Casper Ruud won his sixth tournament in 52 weeks last night in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Besides Alexander Zverev, the Norwegian is the only player in the world who currently holds six titles. However, these are exclusively tournament victories in smaller 250 events (E category), which account for almost 60 per cent of all ATP tournaments and in which usually only a few top ten players compete, if at all. The 23-year-old has never won a major tournament in the A to D category. In the 250s, however, he is the clear No. 1 with his six titles.
In the final of the clay tournament in Buenos Aires, he beat the Argentinean defending champion Diego Schwartzman 5:7, 6:2, 6:3 after 2:34 hours. Ruud remains in the top ten in the JFB 52 Week Tennis World Ranking, although Felix Auger-Aliassime passes him with his 500 tournament win in Rotterdam (D category).
Bublik surprisingly beat Zverev in Montpellier final, Ramos-Vinolas won in Cordoba, Sousa in Pune
The week before, Alexander Bublik somewhat surprisingly won the E tournament (ATP 250) in Montpellier. He beat Alexander Zverev in the final 6-4, 6-3, after Zverev had stormed through the tournament and was heavily favoured before the final. Zverev’s 6 points for reaching the final nevertheless moves him past Medvedev and he is now No. 2 again. If he had won the tournament, he would also have overtaken Djokovic to become world No. 1 in the JFB rankings for the first time in his career. For the 24-year-old Bublik it was the first ATP title in his career. In the JFB ranking, the Kazakh climbs from 33 to 31.
In the final at Cordoba, Argentina, eight days ago, Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas beat surprise finalist Alejandro Tabilo 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Tabilo had knocked out No. 1 seed Diego Schwartzman in the semifinals.
And in the final in Pune, India, Joao Sousa had beaten Emil Ruusuvuori 7-6, 4-6, 6-1. The first seed Aslan Karatsev lost his first match against Elias Ymer, who then lost to Sousa in the semi-finals. For the 32-year-old Portuguese it was his fourth ATP title.
The JFB 52 Week Tennis World Ranking after Rotterdam, Dallas and Buenos Aires
And this is how the current 52-week men’s world ranking looks after Rotterdam (D), Dallas (E) and Buenos Aires (E):
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