How ATP and WTA top 20s shape up ahead of Indian Wells with Alexander Zverev in trouble

Every Monday, i tries to bring you up to speed with everything you missed in the last seven days of tennis, looking at who is on the way up, who needs a win, and who is in the best shape ahead of the next grand slam.

Zverev problems mount up

Alexander Zverev could find his place among the world’s elite tennis players under threat in more ways than one as the schedule starts to work against him.

The world No 3 already has Rafael Nadal bearing down on him for his place in the rankings and will fall further into his clutches next week.

The gap is currently a full 1000 points, the amount on offer to the champion in Indian Wells next week, but Zverev will lose 490 points off his total as his title in Acapulco will fall off his current tally in a week’s time, halving the gap to Nadal.

Both will play in Indian Wells and Miami at present, but the German could find himself missing out on the second half of the so-called Sunshine Swing.

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He is currently being investigated by ATP official Miro Bratoev after his racket smash in Mexico last month saw him defaulted from the competition.

The most likely outcome is some sort of tour ban, which i understands the ATP could take several weeks to assess, but it could nevertheless affect his participation in Miami at the end of March, opening the door to Nadal and even world No 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas

If the Greek is able to overhaul him, it would be significant; Zverev has a lot of points to defend in the clay-court swing that follows Miami, and if he drops to No 5, it would mean would not get the favorable draw afforded to the top four at the French Open.

The knock-on effects of any ban therefore could be felt for weeks and months afterwards.

Biggest movers

With Davis Cup qualifiers (free from ranking points) taking place over the weekend, there was not much movement: Italy’s Gianluca Thin made up nine places from 104 to 95, making him technically the biggest mover in the top 100, but there was further progress for Jenson Brooksbyalbeit inadvertent, that should be more noteworthy.

The American 21-year-old, whose fans include Andy Murray, is up to a career-high No 43 despite not playing last week but is now just a few good wins away from earning a seeding at a grand slam, which could help him make significant headway.

(Current ranking, name, change in ranking from last week)

  • 95. Gianluca Skinny (+9)
  • 73. Roberto Carballes Baena (+6)
  • 62. Benjamin Bonzi (+5)
  • 65. Federico Coria (+4)

champions: n/a – Davis Cup weekend

Tournaments starting this week: Indian Wells (1000)

Top 20

  1. Daniil Medvedev
  2. Novak Djokovic
  3. Alexander Zverev
  4. Rafael Nadal
  5. Stefanos Tsitsipas
  6. Matteo Berrettini (+1)
  7. Andrey Rublev (-1)
  8. Casper Ruud
  9. Felix Auger Aliassime
  10. Jannik Sinner (+1)
  11. Hubert Hurkacz (-1)
  12. Cameron Norrie
  13. Denis Shapovalov
  14. Diego Schwartzman
  15. Roberto Bautista Agut
  16. Pablo Carreno Busta
  17. Reilly Opelka
  18. Nikoloz Basilashvilic
  19. Carlos Alcarazo
  20. Taylor Fritz

Fernandez drama

It has not been a great six months for either of 2021’s shock US Open finalists.

Emma Raducanu has struggled to find her feet at WTA Tour level and most recently has been battling injury, while Leylah Fernandez had just won three matches since losing to the British No 1 at Flushing Meadows.

But then she headed to Mexico, a country where she had made two of her three previous career finals, and Monterrey, where she was the defending champion.

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Albeit not in the presence of a stellar field, Fernandez successfully defended her title, saving five championship points and overcoming a 10-minute interruption when match point down due to a floodlight failure to seal victory in a final-set tie-break.

Her beaten opponent Camila Osorio was playing perhaps the biggest match of her life, albeit she does already have a WTA title to her name. That was in Colombia though and this would have been her first away from home soil, only for the Canadian to claw it away from her. Nevertheless, she is only 20 and is on a rapidly rising trajectory.

Fernandez said afterwards: “Camila, I hope we have many, many more finals like this, because without her, I don’t think this tournament, this final, would be [as] special.”

Biggest movers

Few would have begrudging Ukraine’s dayana Yastremska victory in Lyon on Sunday.

Just a week previously, she and her sister Ivanna had fled their home country in fear, leaving their parents behind in an underground carpark where they had been sheltering from Russian bombs.

Incredibly, the former world No 21 produced her best tennis for months in France last week, beating Jasmine paolinic (No 46) and soran Cirtea (No 27) en route to the final.

There her luck did run out as she faded from a set up on Zhang Shuai (No 41) to lose, but was nevertheless a resounding winner. She subsequently donated her €14,545 (around £12,000) to charities in Ukraine for those affected by the war.

(Current ranking, name, change in ranking from last week)

  • 103. Dayana Yastremska (+37)
  • 41. Zhang Shuai (+23)
  • 102. Vitalia Diatchenko (+16)
  • 35. Camila Osorio (+9)

champions: Leylah Fernandez (Monterrey), Zhang Shuai (Lyon)

Tournaments starting this week: Indian Wells (1000)

Top 20

  1. Ashleigh Barty
  2. Barbara Krejcikova
  3. Aryna Sabalenka
  4. Iga Swiatek
  5. Anett Kontaveit
  6. Mary Sakkari (+1)
  7. Paula Badosa (-7)
  8. Karolina Pliskova
  9. Garbine Muguruza
  10. Our Jabeur
  11. Danielle Collins
  12. Jelena Ostapenko
  13. Emma Raducanu
  14. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
  15. Victoria Azarenka
  16. Angelique Kerber
  17. Coco Gauff
  18. Elina Svitolina
  19. Jessica Pegula
  20. Elena Rybakina

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