ATP Weekly Update week 26: Final grass court prep as Wimbledon looms

ATP Weekly Update week 26: Final grass court prep as Wimbledon looms

With the biggest event of the season kicking off this week, this past week was the last chance for the men of the ATP World Tour to build some momentum heading into Wimbledon.

pete-borkowski
Pete Borkowski

Here is your VAVEL USA ATP Weekly Update. Every Monday, we will be posting results and analysis from the previous week’s singles action on the ATP World Tour, along with a preview to the upcoming week. Keep coming back to VAVEL USA every Monday for your ATP Weekly Update.

This past week was the final opportunity for the men of the ATP World Tour to find their grass feet with the pinnacle of the game fast approaching. Most of the tour’s stars took the week off to rest and prepare for the upcoming major, opening the door for some journeymen to make some runs. With another grand slam just around the corner, here is your ATP Weekly Update for week 26 of the 2018 season.

Last Week’s Results

Eastbourne

As the tour has become dominated by baseliners, Mischa Zverev has always stood out by playing a crafty serve-and-volley game that likely would have thrived back when the game was primarily played on grass. With a field devoid of major stars at the Eastbourne International, the elder Zverev brother took full advantage of the slick grass surface to finally claim the first title of his career at age 30.

Mischa Zverev holds the first trophy of his career in Eastbourne. Photo: Getty Images
Mischa Zverev holds the first trophy of his career in Eastbourne. Photo: Getty Images

The German, whose younger brother Alexander is ranked third in the world, had to recover from a set down in his opening match but once he did, he never looked back. The veteran won ten straight sets, upsetting seventh seed Steve Johnson and sixth seed Denis Shapovalov, on his way to a title in his third career final, topping Lukas Lacko, who had also upset a pair of seeds including top seed Diego Schwartzman in the second round, in straight sets in the title match.

It was another bad week for the seeds on grass, as only one seeded player, French Open semifinalist Marco Cecchinato, reached the semifinals and only three, Kyle Edmund, Shapovalov and Cecchinato, reached the quarterfinals.

Andy Murray pumps his fist during his second round match in Eastbourne. Photo: Getty Images
Andy Murray pumps his fist during his second round match in Eastbourne. Photo: Getty Images

One of the big stories of the week was the continuing comeback of Andy Murray. The Scot claimed his first match win in almost twelve months by defeating fellow injury-hampered three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka in a blockbuster first-round match. But there was to be no magic run as the former world number one fell to the new British number one Edmund in the second round.

Antalya

While the seeds struggled in Western Europe, everything went more or less according to plan in the south-east at the Antalya Open in Turkey. Three of the top four seeds reached the semifinals, with the top two meeting in the title match. In the end, Damir Dzumhur managed to reverse the script as the second seed overcame top seed Adrian Mannarino in a back-and-forth final to claim the third title of his career.

Damir Dzumhur poses with his trophy after winning in Antalya. Photo: Gokhan Taner/ATP World Tour
Damir Dzumhur poses with his trophy after winning in Antalya. Photo: Gokhan Taner/ATP World Tour

The Bosnian had a tricky time in Turkey, needing to battle back from a set down in his opening match. After consecutive straight-sets wins to reach the final, including a quarterfinal over Pierre-Hugues Herbert who had upset defending champion Yuichi Sugita in the second round in a third set tiebreak, momentum swings landed with Dzumhur at the right time as he claimed the title with a 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 victory.

Rankings Update

Mover of the Week: Damir Dzumhur

Dzumhur lines up a forehand in Antalya. Photo: ATP World Tour
Dzumhur lines up a forehand in Antalya. Photo: ATP World Tour

The Antalya champion moved up seven spots courtesy of his title in Turkey, flying past his previous career-high of number 28 in the world to a new personal best of number 23.

Eastbourne champion Mischa Zverev had the largest jump of the week, moving up 26 spots back into the top 50 at 41. Borna Coric and Maximilian Marterer, who were both idle this week, benefitted from other players dropping in the rankings, allowing them both to reach new career-high rankings at numbers 20 (Coric) and 48 (Marterer) respectively.

Race to London

Place Name Points Change
1 Rafael Nadal 5050 -
2 Roger Federer 3670 -
3 Alexander Zverev 3505 -
4 Juan Martin del Potro 3030 -
5 Dominic Thiem  2995 -
6 Marin Cilic 2880 -
7 Kevin Anderson 1630 -
8 John Isner 1510 -
9 Kyle Edmund 1450 +2
10 Borna Coric 1430 -1
11 Grigor Dimitrov 1420 -1
12 Marco Cecchinato 1387  +4

By reaching the quarterfinals in Eastbourne, Kyle Edmund started to claw back toward the qualifying zone where he sat for much of the season, moving up two spots to number nine, just 60 points behind John Isner for the final qualifying spot. Eastbourne semifinalist Marco Cecchinato moved up four spots to number 12.

This Week’s Action

For the next two weeks, there is only one event on the schedule, but it is the biggest event of the season.

Wimbledon

The season’s third major kicks off this week as the world’s best descend on South-West London and the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for the 132nd Wimbledon Championships. 27 of the world’s top 30 will take to the hallowed lawns of SW19, led by eight-time and defending champion Roger Federer and world number one Rafael Nadal.

Roger Federer won his eighth Wimbledon title last year. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Roger Federer won his eighth Wimbledon title last year. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The Swiss is the top seed and will be looking to add to his historic haul after breaking the record for the most men’s singles titles at Wimbledon last year. Federer also needs a good run as he is currently locked in a highly-competitive battle for number one with Nadal. The defending champion needs a repeat if he is to have any hope of reclaiming the top spot, while the Spaniard need only reach the fourth round to hang on to number one.

Federer, Nadal, and Novak Djokovic are the only former Wimbledon champions in the draw. Two-time champion Andy Murray was planning on playing but withdrew on Sunday citing concerns about his hip and the effects of best-of-five matches. 2017 runner-up and Queen’s Club champion Marin Cilic is seeded third behind Federer and Nadal. 2016 runner-up Milos Raonic, despite being ranked 32nd in the world, is seeded 13th.

Check back next Monday for a wrap up of week 27 and a look ahead to week 28 on the ATP World Tour. Come to www.vavel.com/en-us/tennis-usa/ every Monday or follow us on twitter @VAVELUSATennis for your #ATPWeeklyUpdate

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