Fine Swine: February’s Best

FINESWINEFEB2

A look back at the month of February on the ATP World Tour. The month saw two players, Dominic Thiem and Pablo Cuevas, win multiple singles titles. Two doubles teams repeated that feat with Jean-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah winning twice on clay and Mate Pavic and Michael Venus claiming two titles indoors on hard courts.

Dominic Thiem
The 22-year-old Austrian tripled the number of top ten players he had beaten in his career in the month of February alone. Thiem entered the month with just one win vs the Top Ten. He leaves with three after beating Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer during an outstanding run on clay in South America. During that swing, Thiem upset Nadal along the way to his fourth career title at the Argentina Open. He would beat Ferrer the following week in Rio, before being dismissed in the semifinals by Guido Pella. The Austrian transitioned to hard courts last week in Acapulco. There, he found his fifth career title with a championship at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel over Bernard Tomic. On the season, Thiem is now 18-4 with 13 of those wins coming during February. His ranking has risen from 19 to 14.

Pablo Cuevas
The unsung player of the month had to be the Uruguayan. As the Golden Swing pushed on in South America, Cuevas flashed his clay court prowess by winning the Rio Open and Brasil Open in back-to-back weeks. That came after a quarterfinal run in Buenos Aires. During the last two weeks, Cuevas has won eight straight and beaten Rafael Nadal during that run. After going just 2-2 during the Australian swing to open 2016, Cuevas has gone 11-1 on clay. He’ll be hard pressed to make an impression on hard courts at the two upcoming Masters 1000 events at Indian Wells and Miami. Still, his ranking is up 14 spots from the beginning of the season as he stands at #27.

Jean-Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah
The Colombian duo has dominated the doubles scene on clay over the past month. Cabal and Farah went unbeaten at the Argentina and Rio Opens. They staked claim to their first two titles of the season and won ten in a row, before being beaten by Max Mirnyi and Treat Huey on hard courts this past week in Acapulco. The two titles won so far equals their total for all of last season. Cabal-Farah’s huge month has seen them vault to third in the latest team doubles rankings.

Mate Pavic/Michael Venus
This under-the-radar duo leads the doubles ranks this year with three titles. Pavic and Venus won back-to-back weeks in France during February in Montpellier and Marseille. That added to their victory in Auckland in January to give the pair a trio of title wins. The three wins crushed their total of one previous doubles title and could have them as a team to watch moving forward. Their hot February has them postured inside the Top Ten at #7, up seven spots from where they began the month.

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