There were several notable moves on the rankings this week, but there could be a very big potential move depending on the results from Monte Carlo this week, as Rafael Nadal—who was bumped down from No. 2 to No. 3 by Daniil Medvedev four weeks ago—tries to reclaim that No. 2 spot.
Basically, current No. 3 Nadal needs to reach the final of the Masters 1000 event AND finish two wins ahead of current No. 2 Medvedev. That means Nadal will reclaim No. 2 by reaching the final and Medvedev losing before the semifinals, or by winning the title and Medvedev losing before the final.
The two could meet in the semis this week—if that happens, Nadal would not only need to win that match, he would have to go on to win the final too, potentially against No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic.
Nadal has won Monte Carlo 11 times and has a 71-5 career record at the event.
Although almost all of Medvedev’s best results have come on hard courts—both of his Grand Slam finals and all 10 of his career ATP titles—he’s had solid results on clay before, too. His only career final away from hard came on clay, at the ATP 500 event in Barcelona in 2019, falling to Dominic Thiem. And he was a semifinalist here in Monte Carlo in 2019, too, beating a No. 1-ranked Djokovic along the way before falling to Dusan Lajovic. That was actually his first career Masters 1000 semifinal.
“[I’m] really happy to be here. I like the tournament. Played good once here,” Medvedev said.
“After what happened two years ago, I know I can play well on this court.”
A little further down on the ATP rankings, last week’s title winners both moved up, with Marbella champion Pablo Carreno Busta rising from No. 15 to No. 12, just two spots off of his career-high of No. 10, and Cagliari winner Lorenzo Sonego going from No. 34 to No. 28, his Top 30 debut.
And 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, the youngest player in the Top 500, continued his march towards the Top 100, rising from No. 133 to No. 118 after reaching the first ATP semifinal of his career in Marbella.
Meanwhile, the most significant move on the WTA rankings came from Veronika Kudermetova, who won the first WTA title of her career in Charleston, jumping from No. 38 to No. 29 after conquering the WTA 500 event. Not only is it her Top 30 debut, but she also became the new Russian No. 1 on the WTA rankings, jumping over Ekaterina Alexandrova, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Daria Kasatkina.
“It shows me that I can play really well, that I can beat good players,” the 23-year-old Kudermetova said, “and if I play like this and keep working, I think I can be in the Top 10, or higher.”
American Shelby Rogers rose from No. 52 to No. 46 after reaching the third round in Charleston, beating the previous career-high of No. 48 she set back in 2017. It’s particularly significant given she actually fell off the rankings in 2019 after missing over a year of action due to a left knee injury.