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Rankings Winners & Losers: Opelka breaks Top 40; Riske into Top 20
Plus: Juan Martin del Potro, who is set to return to action next week in Stockholm, fell out of the Top 100.
Published Oct 07, 2019
It’s a big week for Americans on the rankings, with three US players breaking through to new ranking classes—the biggest jump coming from Reilly Opelka, who moved into the Top 40 for the first time.
Opelka, who reached the biggest semifinal of his career at the 500-level event in Tokyo last week, rose from No. 53 to No. 40 this week, beating his previous career-high of No. 42 from the summer.
Having spent most of the 2018 season playing ATP Challengers, building his ranking up from No. 229 to No. 99 last year, the 22-year-old American has firmly entrenched himself in the Top 50 in 2019.
“It was part of the plan,” he told ATPTour.com. “Last year I wanted to play on the ATP Challenger Tour and try to play and win as many matches as I could, and learn a lot. I’ve always been confident and believed that I could get to where I wanted to be - I’ve put in a lot of hard work and I’ve been patient.”
Opelka is now the third-highest-ranked American man after No. 17 John Isner and No. 29 Taylor Fritz.
Australian John Millman, who beat Opelka in the semifinals of Tokyo before finishing runner-up to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, also made a big move up the rankings, jumping from No. 80 to No. 58. A former No. 33, Millman was playing the biggest final of his career at the 500-level event in Tokyo.
There’s big news for two American women, too, with 20-year-old Sofia Kenin rising from No. 16 to No. 15, her Top 15 debut, and 29-year-old Alison Riske going from No. 24 to No. 20, her Top 20 debut.
Both Kenin and Riske made the third round in Beijing, falling to Elina Svitolina and Naomi Osaka.
And Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska also moved into a new ranking class, rising from No. 26 to No. 23 - her Top 25 debut. She reached the second round in Beijing, falling to Kiki Bertens.
Though it’s obviously due to inactivity, there was some not-so-good ranking news for Juan Martin del Potro this week, as the former No. 3—who’s been off the tour since June following right knee surgery—fell from No. 70 to No. 103, his first time outside the Top 100 since the 2016 US Open fortnight. He was forced to sit out Beijing last week, having reached the final of the 500-level event last year.
The 2009 US Open champion is returning to action at the 250-level event in Stockholm next week.
The man who beat Del Potro in the final of Beijing last year, Nikoloz Basilashvili, fell from No. 17 to No. 26 this week after losing second round this year. He had been inside the Top 20 since February.
There were some notable dips on the WTA rankings this week, too, with three women falling out of the Top 20 after being unable to match their performances from last year in Beijing: Wang Qiang, who reached the semifinals last year, fell from No. 20 to No. 22 after falling first round this year; Anastasija Sevastova, who reached the final last year, fell from No. 18 to No. 25 after falling first round this year, too; and Caroline Wozniacki, who won the Premier Mandatory event a year ago, made it all the way back to the semifinals this year but lost to Osaka, and goes from No. 19 to No. 24 this week.