ATP Weekly Update week 28: Novak Djokovic is back after wild Wimbledon

ATP Weekly Update week 28: Novak Djokovic is back after wild Wimbledon

If you like hard-fought five-set matches on the biggest stage, the second week of Wimbledon was a dream. And at the end of it, the top two's streak of dominance at majors was snapped by a familiar foe.

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.

After one of the craziest fortnights in tennis history, a familiar face was left standing at the All-England Club holding the most prized trophy in tennis. A major upset and two of the longest matches in tennis history were just some of the drama that took place on the lawns of SW19 this past week.

The biggest tournament of the season is now behind us and an old star seems to be back on the rise. Here is your ATP Weekly Update for week 28 of the 2018 season.

Last Week’s Results

Wimbledon

It had been over two years since Novak Djokovic claimed a major title. In fact, his drought began at Wimbledon after a third-round loss in 2016. But his wait for a 13th major title ended where it began on Sunday as the former world number one capped off possibly the craziest Wimbledon Championships ever by dominating Kevin Anderson in straight sets on finals Sunday to claim a fourth Wimbledon crown.

Novak Djokovic holds the trophy after winning his fourth Wimbledon. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic holds the trophy after winning his fourth Wimbledon. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Things did not go easily the Serb, who needed four sets to put away Kei Nishikori to reach his first major semifinal since 2016. In the semis, he battled for over five hours with world number one Rafael Nadal. The match took two days, was the second longest Wimbledon semifinal and fifth longest Wimbledon match ever, and finally ended when Djokovic took an extended fifth set 10-8. In the final, he cruised past an exhausted Anderson to claim the title.

To reach his second major final, Anderson had to survive probably the toughest week at a major ever. First, he had to fight through a nail-biting four-set match with Gael Monfils in the fourth round. In the quarters, he mounted one of the greatest comebacks in tennis history after he dropped the first two sets and was down match point in the third against eight-time and defending champion Roger Federer. The South African saved the match point, broke Federer in the next game and took the set. He then won the fourth before holding his nerve to edge the top seed 13-11 in the fifth set.

Kevin Anderson celebrates his marathon semifinal victory to reach his second major final. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Kevin Anderson celebrates his marathon semifinal victory to reach his second major final. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

As if things couldn’t get any more dramatic, the ante was upped in the semifinals where Anderson met John Isner. The American advanced to his first major semifinal by topping Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals in four sets. The first three sets of the semi went to tiebreaks, with Isner taking a 2-1 lead before Anderson finally scored a break to send the match to a decider.

That final set would prove to be even more of an epic than his quarterfinal. The match took six hours and 36 minutes, the second longest match in Wimbledon history (after Isner’s first-round match with Nicolas Mahut in 2010) and third longest singles match ever. In the end, Anderson finally scored the break at 24-all and served out the set 26-24 to reach his second major final. Unfortunately, he seemed out of gas in the final where he was steamrolled by Djokovic.

Despite falling short in his heartbreaking semifinal against Djokovic, it was a strong week for Rafael Nadal. First, the Spaniard broke his early-round slump at Wimbledon by reaching his first quarterfinal at the All-England Club since 2011 by beating Jiri Vesely in straight sets.

Rafael Nadal (left) and Juan Martin del Potro embrace after their epic quarterfinal. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images
Rafael Nadal (left) and Juan Martin del Potro embrace after their epic quarterfinal. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images

In the quarterfinals, just over a decade after his epic final with Roger Federer, Nadal went toe-to-toe in a match for the ages with Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine threw everything at the world number one for nearly five hours, but Nadal never capitulated and managed to battle back from two-sets-to-one down for a memorable victory, ending with the pair embracing at the baseline. Reaching the semifinals allowed Nadal to strongly consolidate his number one ranking.

Rankings Update

Mover of the Week: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic's Wimbledon title led to a massive rankings jump. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic's Wimbledon title led to a massive rankings jump. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The now-four-time Wimbledon champion had the largest ranking jump of his comeback, moving up eleven spots back into the top ten for the first time since October of last year.

Runner-up Kevin Anderson cracked into the top five at number five for the first time in his career by reaching his second major final in the last twelve months. The man he beat in that epic semifinal, John Isner, still managed to reach a new career-high ranking of number eight in the world.

Despite there being no change among the top two after Wimbledon, the Championships had a major impact on the battle for number one. Rafael Nadal went into Wimbledon with a mere 50-point lead over Roger Federer.

Nadal fires himself up during his epic quarterfinal victory. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Nadal fires himself up during his epic quarterfinal victory. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

However, Federer’s failure to defend his title by losing to Anderson in the quarters combined with Nadal’s first semifinal run since 2011 opened up that gap to 2230 points, meaning the Spaniard is guaranteed to hold the top spot until after the US Open (where he is the defending champion). Federer is now closer to number three (1415 points) than number one.

Race to London

Place Name Points Change
1 Rafael Nadal 5760 -
2 Roger Federer 4020 -
3 Alexander Zverev 3585 -
4 Juan Martin del Potro 3380 -
5 Novak Djokovic 3355 +10
6 Dominic Thiem  2995 -1
7 Marin Cilic 2915 -1
8 Kevin Anderson 2820 -1
9 John Isner 2220 -1
10 Kei Nishikori 1610 +8
11 Kyle Edmund 1530 -2
12 Borna Coric 1430 -2

Novak Djokovic’s title at Wimbledon shot the Serb into a qualifying spot at number five. Despite having reached the semifinals, John Isner was the biggest victim of Djokovic’s jump, slipping out of a qualifying spot down to number ten. To make matters worse for the American, Kevin Anderson’s run to the final allowed him to put some space between himself at number eight and Isner.

After reaching his first major quarterfinal since last year’s French Open, Kei Nishikori jumped up eight spots to number ten. While the top four in the Race to London did not change, Nadal managed to extend his lead and inch closer towards being the first man to qualify and finish number one for a fifth time. Alexander Zverev also stalled, as Roger Federer put some space between them while Juan Martin del Potro closed some ground.

This Week’s Action

The grass court season moves across the pond this week for its final stop, while there will be a return the clay in Europe. All three events are at the 250-level.

Newport

The Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Rhode Island caps off the grass court season this week with a hard-hitting field look to claim the final crown on the game’s classic surface. Adrian Mannarino is the only top-forty player in the draw and is the top seed. There are a handful of strong grass court players vying for the title, including Eastbourne champion Mischa Zverev, seeded second, 2016 Nottingham champion Steve Johnson, seeded third, and grass-court specialist Gilles Muller, seeded sixth.

The Hall of Fame Tennis Championships concludes the grass court season. Photo: ATP World Tour
The Hall of Fame Tennis Championships concludes the grass court season. Photo: ATP World Tour

Matthew Ebden, Ryan Harrison, Alex de Minaur and Denis Kudla round out the seeds. Ivo Karlovic, the 2016 champion, is the only former Newport champion in the draw. John Isner is the defending champion, but after reaching his first major semifinal this past week at Wimbledon, the American number one will not be defending his title.

Umag

After five weeks on the speedy grass, a handful of tour players will return to the European clay before making the switch to the summer hard courts. Damir Dzumhur and French Open semifinalist Marco Cecchinato are leading a solid contingent to Umag for the Croatia Open. Dzumhur is the highest-ranked player in the draw and is seeded second, followed by Cecchinato. Kyle Edmund was to be the top seed but withdrew at the last minute meaning there is no number one seed.

Andrey Rublev kisses the first trophy of his career in Umag last year. Photo: Getty Images
Andrey Rublev kisses the first trophy of his career in Umag last year. Photo: Getty Images

NextGen star Andrey Rublev will return to Umag looking to defend his maiden title which he won a year ago, defeating Paolo Lorenzi in straight sets. Both men are back, with Rublev seeded third in the first title defense of his young career. All eight seeds are in the top fifty, as Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Robin Haase, Joao Sousa, Benoit Paire and Maximilian Marterer join Dzumhur, Cecchinato, and Rublev.

Bastad

A deep clay court field will descend on Bastad for the Swedish Open. World number eleven Diego Schwartzman is the top seed and is joined by a series of clay court specialists. Pablo Carreno Busta is seeded second, followed by world number sixteen Fabio Fognini. Richard Gasquet is seeded fourth.

David Ferrer will look to win a fourth title in Bastad this week. He won number three last year. Photo: ATP World Tour
David Ferrer will look to win a fourth title in Bastad this week. He won number three last year. Photo: ATP World Tour

2013 French Open runner-up David Ferrer is the defending champion and will be looking to claim a second straight title in Sweden as the seventh seed. Ferrer is the most successful player in Bastad in this century having already won three titles at the 250-level event. Fernando Verdasco (5), Leonardo Mayer (6), and John Millman (8) round out the seeds.

Check back next Monday for a wrap up of week 29 and a look ahead to week 30 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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