The Ocho: Wimbledon Wrap-up

ocho

“The Eight” …. Every week, @tennispig will give his top eight ATP singles players and top eight ATP/WTA doubles teams from the previous week. It’s a great way to monitor who is hot … and who is not. This week it’s all about putting the finishing touches on Wimbledon.

1. Novak Djokovic
Before Wimbledon started, there was a thought that the Serb was in the right quarter of the draw to at least get back to the semifinals. His quarter was littered with talented seeds like Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Nick Kyrgios – but they all had question marks, perhaps bigger than Djokovic’s coming to London. Over the course of the first week, Djokovic found little resistance in the form of Horacio Zeballos, Kyle Edmund and Karen Khachanov. The set-up for his first Slam semifinal since the 2016 U.S. Open was even better with popular punching bag Kei Nishikori in his path. Djokovic dispatched Kei in four sets.

NOLE

That set up the match-up of the tournament, especially in lieu of Roger Federer being knocked out in the quarters by Kevin Anderson. The semifinal showdown against Rafael Nadal did not disappoint. Five sets. Two days to complete. Countless baseline rallies with vintage Nole-Rafa shot making. Djokovic would finish off in style with a 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (3) win over Anderson in the final on Sunday. At 31, the Serb now has 13 Grand Slam titles with four of them coming at Wimbledon. The run these two weeks have served notice that the Serb may finally be healthy and gaining steam on his reclamation project. At minimum, he’s now going to be a threat headed to the U.S. Open if he can remain healthy. The Serb is now ranked 10th with nothing but points to gain the rest of the season.

2. Kevin Anderson
If we’re being honest, Djokovic might be the Wimbledon champion, but Anderson cemented the two of the most memorable wins of the fortnight. His comeback from two sets down against everyone’s tournament Favorite, Roger Federer, was as incredible a comeback as we may have seen in the last decade. Big Kev is now one of just three players who have ever defeated Fed in the best of five format after the Swiss won the first two sets – Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were the others. It’s quite incredible when you consider that Anderson had dropped ten straight sets against the South African at the time that he took the 2-0 lead.

Oh and Anderson wasn’t done – for an encore, he booked his spot in the final with an edgy 26-24 win in the fifth set over John Isner in a match that lasted about six and a half hours. Not many will have nee surprised that Anderson could not summon the level he showed in those classic five set wins in the last two rounds once he reached the final, but he again reminded us that hard work and a positive attitude an produce fantastic results. Anderson has now made two Grand Slam finals after the age of 30, after never making one prior. He’s an unassuming and appreciative player who sets a great example on what you can do when you’re willing to make change to your game. He’s also set to become the 5th ranked player in the world, a career high.

3. Rafael Nadal
The Spaniard came up short in his bid to make the Wimbledon final for the first time since 2011, but his stay in London showed why he is the world #1. He breezed through the first four rounds before drawing Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarterfinals. There, Nadal outlasted a heavy hitting opponent, the type who many thought had a chance to cut down Rafa on grass. Rafa edged DelPo 5-7, 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in what many labelled the match of the year … until Nadal played Djokovic in the semifinals. The Spaniard had his chances against the Serb and will have a chip on his shoulder after the roof controversy. The Rafa Army believing their beloved was screwed by the roof remaining closed for those final two sets when the weather was perfectly fine. It was an imperfect tournament with some scheduling question marks down the stretch and we might always wonder “what if” with Nadal preferring the outdoor conditions, while the indoor environment clearly did give Djokovic a better opportunity. In the end, a great player beat a great player and the debate will rage on.

4. Mike Bryan/Jack Sock
One of the more scintillating stories of the tournament came in doubles with Mike Bryan again forced to play without brother Bob due to Bob’s hip injury. After faltering in round one at the French Open with Sam Querrey as his partner, Mike struck gold by partnering up with Jack Sock. The same Jack Sock who can’t win singles matches, but looked perfectly in tune in the doubles environment again. Bryan and Sock took advantage of a draw blown up with the top four seeds missing before the quarterfinals. They would win three five setters en route to the title, including the 6-3, 6-7 (9), 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 win over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in the final.

ATP WIMBLE

The win gave Mike Bryan a record tying 17th doubles Grand Slam title (John Newcombe) and saw Sock win his second, with both coming at Wimbledon. Mike Bryan played the role of coach and partner throughout this memorable run and deserves a ton of credit for keeping Sock motivated all the way through. Mike returns to the number one spot in the doubles ranking with the win and this won’t be the last time we see Mike Bryan and Jack Sock together. The pair have already been announced as a team for the BB&T Atlanta Open which starts next week.

5. Barbora Krejčíková/Kateřina Siniaková
Giving the ladies their due in this spot as the Czech Connection of Krejcikova-Siniakova have now won the last two Grand Slam titles. The Czechs defeated Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke to claim just their second title of the season, but with both coming at Slams (French Open) – they elevate into the top spot in the rankings. The duo also became the first pairing in Wimbledon history to have won both the juniors doubles crowns along with the ladies titles. There may be a lot of change in the WTA in the doubles rankings right now, but this pair is showing that they are the team to beat right now.

WTA WIMBLE

6. John Isner
It wss an uneqivocal success in London for Isner, who had never been past the third round at the All-England Club in his career. His semifinal run was fueled by the most consistent version of his massive serve that we’ve seen since he won the Miami Open in March. Isner has altered his game more-so this year as he looks to shorten points even more at the age of 33. The American is coming to net frequently and has become a better than average volleyist. Isner will continue to reside inside the Top 10 heading into the summer hard court season where his biggest point defense is trying to equal last year’s semifinal showing in Cincinnati. Isner will hope his magical run rubs off on his U.S. Open chances, a place where he has only been as far as the fourth round once since his 2011 quarterfinal appearance. Isner is up two spots to #8 in the rankings.

7. Marin Cilic
The biggest disappointment and surprise for me on the men’s side at Wimbledon was Cilic. Last year’s finalist had looked rock solid in winning the Queen’s Club title and had made the quarterfinals or better in four of the last six Grand Slams. That included two finalis trips, so a second round loss to Guido Pella was stunning. Pella had no career grass court wins before 2018. Cilic also led 6-3, 6-1, 3-2 before Mother Nature delayed play a day and that was the obvious turning point. Cilic falls to #7 as a result fo the early exit, but I would not be overly concerned about a lasting effect from this loss. He’s been pretty solid all things considered in 2018.

8. Grigor Dimitrov
Dead horse time and there’s no bigger lump of horse meat than the Bulgarian who lost to a still rusty Stan Wawrinka in the opening round. Dimitrov now has first-up losses at five of the ten tournaments that he has played since making the Rotterdam final in February. Of course is doing so, he’s rarely losing big points and he didn’t move an inch from his #6 spot in the rankings this week. Outside of the Australian Open, where he has made three of his four career Slam finals, he seems miscast as anything other than a disappointment. Dimitrov has done well for himself at times in the summer hard court swing, until the U.S. Open. There, he’s only been to the fourth round twice in eight visits with first or second round exits the other six trips. His biggest summer tournament is Cincinnati, where he made the finals last year and will need a deep run to avoid looking on the outside in, if he’s bidding to make London at the end of the year.

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The Ocho: Madrid Wrap-up

Ocho

“The Eight” …. Every week, @tennispig will give his top eight ATP singles players and top eight ATP/WTA doubles teams from the previous week. It’s a great way to monitor who is hot … and who is not. This week, it’s not all about Rafa, but it’s still about Rafa.

1. Alexander Zverev
Titles in successive weeks on the ATP World Tour, including your third career Masters title, will net you the top spot for the week. Sascha was dominant in winning the Mutua Madrid Open this past week. He faced just one break point in five matches and never had his serve broken. Zverev also didn’t drop a single set and has only lost one set during his current nine match win streak. Sascha is firmly entrenched as the #3 player in the world behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. He has a chance in Rome to really put himself into that upper echelon talk … which will then be a talking point when we get around to his Grand Slam record.

SASCHA

2. Dominic Thiem
The Dominator earned a spot in “The Ocho” by putting an end to Nadal’s win streaks. Rafa had won 21 straight matches before battling Thiem in the quarterfinals. The Spaniard had also won an astounding 50 straight sets on clay. Thiem’s straight sets win over Nadal 7-5, 6-3 was a big confidence boost for the Austrian who lost 6-0, 6-2 when they faced off in Monte Carlo. Following that up with his first win over Kevin Anderson after six defeats was a nice feather in his cap for the week. It helped negate the emptiness of losing the final in straights to Sascha 6-4, 6-4.

3. Denis Shapovalov
The Canadian was the surprise of the week. Shapovalov has never played a main draw match on clay before this season. Leaving out his split 1-1 mark in Davis Cup play earlier this season, Shapovalov had lost his only two tour matches on dirt coming to Madrid. A semifinal run later and he’s now made two Masters semifinals in the past year. We’ll see if he’s an actual threat on dirt as he heads to Rome this week or if he was helped a bit by the Madrid altitude. Either way, he had impressive wins over Milos Raonic and Kyle Edmund before falling to Zverev. The run boosts him to a career high ranking of #29.

4. Rafael Nadal
All good things must come to an end and that they did for Nadal in Madrid. Twenty-one straight wins. Fifty straight sets won on clay, an all-time record on the ATP World Tour. Think about that for just a second and let that wow factor set in again. To be honest, the straight sets loss to Thiem might be the worst thing that happened to the rest of the tour. I think that loss, which also knocked him out of the #1 spot in the rankings, will burn a fire inside Nadal for the next few weeks.

Dominic Thiem

As if he wasn’t still the firm favorite to take home his 11th French Open title, now you have a man who is on a mission beginning in Rome. Rome is a spot where he has not won a title since 2013, despite having won seven titles in his career at the Italian Open. The fuel for turning that around is that title #8 pushes him back to the top spot in the rankings and gets him on another roll heading to Roland Garros.

5. Bryan Brothers
It’s not often that you can celebrate a little when you’re forced into your first injury retirement ever, but the Bryans can do that today. By verge of getting to the Madrid final, the American twins boosted themselves back into the top spot in the rankings. Unfortunately, a hip injury for Bob led to a retirement in the title match against Nikola Mektic and Alexander Peya on Sunday. Despite that, the Bryans slipped ahead of another team dealing with an injury in Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic for the top spot. The Bryans are a mere 235 points ahead of Marach-Pavic who had held the top spot this year since the opening weeks of the season. No word on whether the injury to Bob will cause the twins to skip Rome this week. If they can go, they figure to be in the mix again this week if Bob is healthy. After all, they’ve made the finals of all four Masters events so far this season!

6. Kyle Edmund
The Brit moved inside the Top 20 with a quarterfinal run in Madrid. He’s now ranked a career high #19. The media oversold his win over Novak Djokovic in round two as a monumental win, although it does still count as a good one seeing that Edmund had lost all three previous matches against the Serb. For me, the bigger win was beating David Goffin in straights in round three. Goffin had been in better form and had famously come back from down 0-2 against Edmund in the 2015 Davis Cup final. He beat Edmund in the last three sets in that match 6-2, 6-1, 6-0. So this was a nice bit of revenge. Edmund is now 8-4 on clay and one to watch over the next few weeks as he runs hot and cold on this surface.

7. Nikola Mektic/Alexander Peya
This pair has quietly been moving up the rankings, especially since the clay court swing in Europe. Mektic and Peya certainly didn’t like winning a Masters title by default due to injury, but they’ll take their second title together in 2018 as a result. They also won in Marrakech. Unassumingly, they’ve slotted themselves in as the #3 team in the rankings now, a mere five points ahead of Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah at #4. Clay has been their best surface with four finals in six tournaments. They’re a threat, but face a tough opener in Rome against John Isner and Jack Sock.

8. Dusan Lajovic
I love to put consummate “pros” on the list when possible and Lajovic at age 27, fits that description. The Serb is under .500 for the year at 8-11, but he shows the difficult life of players floating in the back end of the Top 100. Lajovic made it to the main draw in Madrid through qualifying and then stunned Juan Martin Del Potro in the third round after beating Karen Khachanov and Richard Gasquet – two quality wins in their own right. He would make his first-ever Masters quarterfinal with the run and sees his ranking boosted nearly 30 spots to #66.

DUSAN

Then what does he do? After losing a tough three set match to Kevin Anderson in the quarters, he turns around and goes straight to Rome qualifying on Saturday. He would beat Florian Mayer in three, before falling to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final round on Sunday. Unfortunately he is not in the main draw, but earns the respect here for playing eight matches in eight days with a 6-2 record. Oh and that win over Del Potro was his first over a top ten player after going 0-11.

The Ocho: Monte Carlo Wrap-up

ocho

“The Eight” …. Every week, @tennispig will give his top eight ATP singles players and top eight ATP/WTA doubles teams from the previous week. It’s a great way to monitor who is hot … and who is not. This week, a look back at Monte-Carlo and King Rafa.

1. Rafael Nadal
The King of Clay is still the king of clay. At 31, Nadal looked as dominant as ever on his favorite surface in winning his 11th title in Monte Carlo. He won all five matches at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in straight sets with only Grigor Dimitrov winning as many as four games off of him in a set. Six of the ten sets he played saw his opponent with two games or less. He heads to Barcelona as an overwhelming favorite and why not – after all, Center Court is named after him; Pista Rafa Nadal. Oh and he also remains at the top spot in the rankings, needing to have won the title as he did to keep his spot.

Rafa

2. Kei Nishikori
It was a solid week overall for Nishikori as he made his first Masters 1000 final. Especially big were his two wins in the quarters and semis over Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic, two of the top four players in the rankings. Sure, he got crushed by Nadal in the final, but it’s clay, it’s Rafa – nothing to be ashamed of in losing that way. The wins in Monte Carlo pushed him up 14 spots to #22 in the rankings and he now heads to one of his best tournaments in Barcelona. The only problem there is that Nadal is in his quarter, so he’s likely going top drop points after making the final at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell last season.

3. Bryan Brothers
Bob and Mike remain the most consistent team of 2018 as they collected their 6th Monte Carlo title and 38th career Masters 1000 title. The Bryans have racked up a 23-6 record on the season now with a pair of Masters titles (Miami) and two other finals appearances in Indian Wells and Acapulco. All of that still has the twins nipping at the heels of the top team, Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic. The Bryans beat Marach-Pavic in straights to claim the Monte Carlo crown and are now less than 300 points behind them for the #1 spot.

4. Richard Gasquet
The 31-year old Frenchman made his history this week in a quarterfinal run in Monte Carlo. Gasquet collected his 500th career ATP win and in doing so, became the first French player to ever achieve that feat. The run bumps him up five spots to #29. Gasquet looked healthy and has now made the quarters or better in Marrakech and Monte Carlo and could become a fly-in-the-ointment type for some of the higher ranked players as the clay court season wears on.

Gasquet

5. David Goffin
The Belgian won his first matches since the freak eye injury he suffered late in February in Rotterdam. His confidence and timing appear to have returned as he now heads to Barcelona looking to further strengthen his mental game. Goffin is still hanging onto the 10th spot in the rankings right now heading into the stretch on clay that includes Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros. He will be one to watch as a potential player who can push to a semifinal at the French Open with the right draw.

6. Oliver Marach/Mate Pavic
The top ranked doubles duo got a much needed finals run in Monte Carlo this past week as they cling to their spot in the rankings. Marach-Pavic didn’t do terrible in the Sunshine Double in Indian Wells and Miami, making the semis and quarters. The pair had however not been to a final since Rotterdam and had lost a bit of the swagger they had early in the season in winning three straight titles to open 2018. They will have a chance to keep the top spot in Barcelona this week, making their debut at the tournament as the three seeds.

7. Rohan Bopanna/Eduoard Roger-Vasselin
I’ve been hyping this tandem since the beginning of the season, when they first announced that they would pair up. Up until this past week, it had been a season of disappointing results for Bopanna-ERV. They had made a couple of semifinals early on at 250-level events, but Monte Carlo marked their first big run at a quality tournament. They made the semifinals and beat two quality teams in Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares and Juan-Sebastian Cabal Farah en route. They would lose a tough semifinal to Marach-Pavic 10-7 in the super breaker, but have jumped 12 spots in the rankings to #10. They are now less than 200 points out of the #8 slot. They have a tough draw in Barcelona with Henri Kontinen and John Peers in their opener, but just might be starting to hit their stride at a good time on the calendar.

8. USA Fed Cup Team
Normally the only WTA inclusions on this list are for doubles, but Team USA deserves a little shout out this week. The United States made the Fed Cup final for the second straight year over the weekend. Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys keyed the run with straight sets wins on Sunday after France split the opening rubbers to propel the U.S. to a 3-2 win. Team USA is now in position for a second straight Fed Cup title. They play the Czech Republic, who has won five of the last seven Fed Cup titles. The Americans beat the Czechs in last year’s semifinals.

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The Ocho: Miami Open Wrap-up

Ocho

“The Eight” …. Every week, @tennispig will give his top eight ATP singles players and top eight ATP/WTA doubles teams from the previous week. It’s a great way to monitor who is hot … and who is not. This week, it’s all about the Miami Open.

1. John Isner
Isner’s tennis is never going to be a phenomenal watch, but you can still appreciate what the 32-year-old accomplished by winning the title in Miami. The title is his lone Masters 100 title and 13th for his career. The win also pushes Isner into the top ten in the rankings at #9 this week. Isner was last inside the top ten right around four years ago in April 2014. For a guy who was 2-6 in 2018 before winning six straight in Miami, it was a monster week.

ISNER

2. Alexander Zverev
Despite losing in three sets to Isner in the final, Miami could well have been the boost that Zverev needed to get his season out of neutral. The German was 8-4 on the season, but really void of any impressive runs. That changed in Miami with wins over Nick Kyrgios, Borna Coric and Pablo Carreno Busta. Sure, he didn’t keep it together very well in the final and we saw a little of the mentally fragile Sascha again – but overall, he should have gained confidence from this run. His forehand was consistent and if he takes only that moving forward this season, he may begin to rack up more impressive results more consistently.

3. Juan Martin Del Potro
Del Potro simply had to be on the list this time around, even though his 15 match win streak was ended by Isner in the semifinals. I thought Del Potro would have gassed out earlier in Miami after title runs in Acapulco and Indian Wells, but he persevered into the semifinals and remained steady at #6 in the rankings. The Argentine showed us during this winning streak that he’s got the passion, play and perhaps finally – the fitness – to be a major player in 2018. He’ll take a break after a heavy workload and has already talked up a reduced clay court schedule. That’s smart thinking for a player who wants to still be strong as the season rolls back into hard court play in the summer.

4. Bryan Brothers
The first six weeks of the seson belonged to Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, but since then it has been Bob and Mike Bryan who have shown the most consistency on the doubles scene. They were finally rewarded for that with a title in Miami after failing to win in finals appearances in both Acapulco and Indian Wells. The twins remain a solid #2 to Marach-Pavic in the rankings and have closed the gap to juder under 800 points. One month ago, they were nearly 1,800 points back.

BRYANS

5. Borna Coric
Coric completed the Sunshine double with a quarterfinal showing in Miami, his fourth at a Masters event. That followed his first Masters 1000 semifinal at Indian Wells. The Croat scored wins over Denis Shapovalov and Jack Sock, showing that defense again is a good way to beat players who definitely have a bit better weaponry on the offensive end. Considering that the season now flips to clay, where Coric should be even better – a golden opportunity could be waiting for the 21-year-old in the next two months.

6. Grigor Dimitrov
What is an “Ocho” without Dimitrov on the list once again for the wrong reasons. The shine of his early season has dimmed to darkness with Dimitrov going 1-2 in Indian Wells and Miami combined. Losses to Fernando Verdasco and then Jeremy Chardy in Miami are not the thing that a player ranked #5 should be experiencing. We’re once again back into “wait mode” with Dimitrov, waiting for him to realize all that potential and turn it into consistent results. He may well turn it back on during the switch to clay, but consistency is really still pretty elusive for Dimitrov especially at Masters and Slams.

7. David Goffin
I don’t think much was expected of Goffin in Miami due to the lengthy layoff after the freak eye injury in Rotterdam, but what transpired is very troubling. Goffin was crushed by Joao Sosa 6-0, 6-1. Goffin admitted his pupil is still “expanded” in that injured eye and that he needs to gain confidence with his vision again. The Belgian said he felt he practiced and trained well for the event, but that at full match speed – he now knows he has a lot of work to do to rediscover his overall confidence and rhythm.

8. Novak Djokovic
The Serb is also on this list for the wrong reasons. More was expected of Djokovic in Miami after he flopped in his return at Indian Wells. Perhaps we again expected too much of a player who missed months due to an elbow injury and then had to have some procedure done on it again this season. He’s had just two matches since Melbourne with losses to Taro Daniel and then Benoit Paire in Miami.

On top of that, Djokovic has ended his relationships with Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek, who were the two key cogs of his coaching team. The Agassi relationship seemed flawed and Djokovic’s lack of health since they began working with each other last May really jinxed any chances of seeing success. From statements from Agassi, it also appears they never got on the same page with what they wanted to do. For the Serb, finding his confidence and game again should be paramount to finding another coach.

The Ocho: Indian Wells Wrap-up

Ocho

“The Eight” …. Every week, @tennispig will give his top eight ATP singles players and top eight ATP/WTA doubles teams from the previous week. It’s a great way to monitor who is hot … and who is not. This week, it’s a look back at Indian Wells.

1. Juan Martin Del Potro
Well who else is going to top the list than the champion of the tournament? NOBODY. Roger Federer may have been struggling some with back issues the last few rounds at Indian Wells, but all credit goes to Del Potro for the title win on Sunday. He had his back up against the wall with Federer serving for the match at 5-4 in the third with two match points. After blowing his own opportunity in the second set at 8-7 in the tiebreak to win, the Argentine fought off Fed and wound up rolling in the third set tiebreak to win his first Masters title. The win pushes DelPo into the 6th spot in the rankings and further cements him as the 1B to Federer’s 1A right now on the ATP World Tour.

DELPO

2. Roger Federer
Federer is in this spot alone for the way he fought through in the semifinals against Borna Coric. With his back certainly effecting his play some, the Swiss was able to overcome the talented Croat 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. It was a match he looked like he was destined to lose, but came up with the goods at the right time to win. It helped him run off his 17th straight win to start the season, a personal best for Fed. Despite the loss, it’s clear that Federer is still the gold standard on tour and seemingly the field will need these physical issues to crop up from time to time to give them their best chances to KO the world number one.

3. Borna Coric
The fairy tale week for Coric looked like it was going to get the perverbial cherry on top with an unexpected win over Federer, but alas it was not to be. Still, it was a first for Coric with a run to a Masters 1000 semifinal. That included upset wins over seeds Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Roberto Bautista Agut and Kevin Anderson. The win zips the 21-year-old to #36 in the latest rankings, up 13 spots from last week. He’s also just three spots behind his career best ranking of #33.

4. Grigor Dimtirov
Back on the list for all the wrong reasons as Dimitrov once again could not solve Indian Wells. This time instead of surrendering himself in the third round, Dimitrov was knocked out in his first match in round two by Fernando Verdasco. He’s still ranked fourth, but he’s again struggling to live up to expectation. This Indian Wells-Miami double has been a trouble spot for him in his career, never advancing past round four in Miami and round three at Indian Wells. Dimitrov heads to Miami on a three match losing skid with two opening match losses in his last three tournaments.

5. John Isner/Jack Sock
Isner and Sock can’t get out of their own way in singles, but the Americans came together to win the doubles titles at Indian Wells this week. Isner and Sock are now 15-5 all-time when pairing up. For Sock, who has now dropped out of the top ten in singles to #11, it’s his second doubles title this season and 10th of his career. His two doubles titles equal the number of singles’ wins he’s been able to rack up this year at just 2-5. I’m also still blocked by him on Twitter, which is still fantastic to me. Isner is just 2-6 in 2018, but has chosen to let the Pig live his life by seeing the Isner tweets.

isner-sock

6. Su-wei Hsieh/Barbora Strycova
You can’t ask for anything more than winning a prestiguous doubles title as a first time pairing. That’s exactly what Hsieh and Strycova did this past week. The duo paired up at the last minute, literally signing up for doubles ten minutes before the entry deadline. They even tried to switch partners at the last minute, but it wasn’t allowed. Good thing, eh?

hey beat Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-4 for the titles. What is more impressive is that Hsieh paired up with a different partner for the second straight tournament to beat the 2nd ranked Russians. Hsieh paired with Shuai Peng in Dubai last week to knock off Makarova-Vesnina en route to the Dubai final. Hsieh is now ranked twice in the top right with Peng at #6 and Strycova at #8 after the big win at Indian Wells.

7. Bryan Brothers
The Bryans went another week without a title, but they continue to gain momentum. Bob and Mike moved up a notch to number two in the rankings with their finals run at Indian Wells. It was their second straight tournament final after doing the same in Acapulco. The key right now is that they are producing consistent results early on and getting deep in tournaments. They head to Miami where they have made the semifinals or final in five of the last six years.

8. Matteo Berrettini
I can hear the google search engine revving up for this one and go ahead – the Italian deserves some recognition with what he is doing right now. Berrettini snuck into the Indian Wells main draw and acquitted himself well with a three set, opening round loss to Daniil Medvedev. The 21-year-old was able to parlay that into a finals run at the Irving Tennis Classic on the Challenger circuit after losing in California. It was his second Challenger final in 2018, having notched a title win in Bergamo earlier in the season.

Berrettini

He also qualified for his first Grand Slam in Australia via qualifying, He is 1-3 in main draws at the ATP level this season, but looks to be a legitimate riser and one to watch for at this stage. Berrettini is at a career high #95 this week and that is quite an achievement for him, considering that he was in the 800s last year after missing a good chunk of 2016 due to a knee injury. Berrettini is a big kid at 6’4″ tall who has shown some prowess on both hard courts and clay on the lower levels. Keep an eye on him in Miami qualifying this week.