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Old 02-06-2017, 08:25 AM   #571
Brian Swartz
Pro Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Rankings Update: Summer 2050

1. Prakash Mooljee(SRI, 26) -- 17,100

Mooljee is on a historical run right now. His only loss this year came to Gillo Fangio in one of the clay Masters, a match he should have won. He's had close calls to be sure, most notably in the Wimbledon final where he outlasted Niklas 4-6, 7-5, 6-7(7), 7-6(10), 6-3 in an epic where he shut down multiple championship points in the fourth set breaker. Prakash came through it though and has now won five straight Slams, which is better than Iglar ever accomplished -- Eric Gorritepe was the last to reach these heights. For the year, he's an astounding 53-1. Nobody has ever gone through a year with less than two losses, but it'll be tough for him to sustain this given that the Olympics and a packed schedule afterwards is upcoming. He's making his way onto the all-time leaderboards now, tied for 7th in Slam titles(7), tied for 10th in Masters(12), and 10th as well in weeks at #1(97). Mooljee has also surpassed Girsh for #2 on the list of Sri Lanka's legends.

2. Tomas Niklas(CZE, 26) -- 8,535

Niklas has been more consistent this year, and adopted the mantle of clear #2. If Mooljee ever returns to earth he may be able to close the gap some, but as it is he is still astronomically distant. He's 47-10, runner-up at Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the Miami Masters.

3. Girish Girsh(SRI, 31) -- 6,220

At 36-14, Girsh has lost nearly as many matches as last year and is clearly feeling his age. Since making the AO final, he's had a SF in Madrid but not much else. Wouldn't surprise to see his slip to 4th and 5th by the time he retires at year's end.

4. Johnny Browne(USA, 24) -- 5,510

5. Khasan Zakirov(UZB, 27) -- 5,430

These two appear to have plateaued, staying bunched together as the 'best of the rest'. The field appears to be gradually catching them. Zakirov has become one of the most accomplished clay players in the world, but not good enough to win any of the big titles.

6. Gillo Fangio(ITA, 22) -- 4,600

Rarified air for one so young, but it's been expected for Fangio. His 37-14 mark is basically identical to Girsh's. The upset of Mooljee and subsequent run to the Rome final was the highlight of a pretty consistent showing so far.

7. Shreya Ujjaval(SRI, 27) -- 4,090

Ujjaval saved a bad start to the year by reaching the Wimbledon SF. He made the quarters in Rome but everywhere else has been an early loss, partly due to scheduling but he just hasn't played as well as expected. He's definitely starting to slip.

8. Luc Janin(CAN, 23) -- 3,995

Janin is next in a group of players tightly packed together. It's been a mixed bag, but victory in Rome and a SF in Miami have been enough to get him back in the Top 10. He's still improving, but Luc's chances at reaching #1 aren't looking good unless his consistency improves soon.

9. Juan de los Santos(ESP, 24) -- 3,865

Spain's latest hope hasn't done much in most of the big events, but he did pull off an unexpected victory in Monte Carlo. That was followed up by winning the Barcelona 500 and a solid QF showing at Roland Garros. The best part of his year is now over, and I don't expect much from him in the second half.

10. Jake Jolland(USA, 24) -- 3,850

Jolland continues to surprise; I never expected to see him this high up. Consistency has been the watchword for Jake; he has 46 wins already with a QF showing at Wimbledon and at least that well in four of the Masters events.

11. Antonin Iglar(CZE, 33) -- 3,395

Iglar has finally crashed. He hung around for a long time, but the sun has set on one of tennis' great champions.

17. Mateo Kaspar(FRA, 21) -- 2,515

Kaspar has moved up a bit but we haven't heard a ton from him. The young French phenom has an extreme hardcourt focus though, so I expect him to finish very well.

18. Anil Mehul(SRI, 34) -- The gradual slide continues, and I've had to be careful with his schedule: he's still winning too many singles matches to play doubles all the time. Despite missing some events in the latter, he's up to 118th there and in terms of training more than halfway done with the doubles work. The national record for doubles is held by Ujjaval at 46th; Mehul reached 77th himself many years ago. At some point next year those marks will likely fall, but I'm not sure how high he will be able to reach.

51. Shyam Senepathy(SRI, 26) -- Senepathy is nearing his peak but also, it appears, about to make me into a liar. I've long expressed skepticism about him reaching the Top 50, but it looks like I'm about to be proven incorrect.

215. Ritwik Dudwadkar(SRI, 20) -- Dudwadkar is a perfect 25-0 on the season and has another futures event or two left before he makes the jump to challengers. He'll likely play his first Slam event at the USO, and is doing better in doubles also(13-3, 669th). I expect him to get in a couple of tournaments at the next tier before the end of the season.

Quite the shake-up in the Top 10, where there are now four of the Top 8 who are 24 or younger. Mooljee probably dominates for another year at least, but after that things could get quite interesting at the top. Dudwadkar will be trying to break in while that group is in command, and that will not be easy.
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