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Pete’s Power Rankings: Wimbledon contenders emerge at Queen’s and Halle

June 22, 2021
Andrey Rublev and Ugo Humbert hold their Halle trophies

Photo : Noventi Open

Welcome to Pete’s Power Rankings, where we paint a picture of the ATP Tour by looking at recent results and ranking players based on their current form, rather than the ATP’s point system.

The power rankings will be updated weekly all the way up to the National Bank Open.

We have now had a look at most of the Wimbledon challengers on the grass after the main two warm-up events were held last week at the Queen’s Club and Halle and have a better sense of who is positioning themselves to be the primary threat to stage three of Novak Djokovic’s Grand Slam bid next week at the All-England Club.

Because let’s be real, it really is Novak Djokovic and then everyone else right now.

So who is building momentum heading into Wimbledon?

Here are our mid-grass season ATP Tour power rankings:

PETE’S ATP TOUR POWER RANKINGS – Week of June 21, 2021

1. Novak DjokovicChange: –
2021 Record: 27-3 (3 Titles)Actual Rank: 1Last Week Result: DNP

He may not be playing any warm-up singles events before Wimbledon, but he does not need one. He is the favourite and it is very much him vs the field.

2.Stefanos TsitsipasChange: –
2021 Record: 39-9 (2 Titles)Actual Rank: 4Last Week Result: DNP

Tsitsipas is also taking a pass on warm-up events. It is understandable given the grass swing being condensed by a week. He might have liked it though since grass has historically been his weakest surface.

3. Matteo BerrettiniChange: +3
2021 Record: 26-6 (2 Titles)Actual Rank: 9Last Week Result: Queen’s – W

With his victory at the Queen’s Club last week, Berrettini joined a short list of active players on the ATP Tour with multiple grass court titles. In fact, he will be the only non-Big Three player seeded at Wimbeldon who has multiple grass titles.

He has been so consistent throughout 2021 and clearly that is stretching across surfaces. Given how generally more players struggle on grass than any other surface, he might have his best opening yet at a slam over the coming weeks.

4. Alexander ZverevChange: -1
2021 Record: 24-10 (2 Titles)Actual Rank: 6Last Week Result: Halle – R2

A second-round loss on home soil was not what the doctor ordered for Zverev, but that was the first time he failed to reach the quarterfinals of an event since Monte Carlo. He has had success on grass in the past and has been great in the big tournaments so far in 2021 so one early loss is no reason to panic.

5. Andrey RublevChange: +7
2021 Record: 33-10 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 7Last Week Result: Halle – F

Mr. ATP 500 was back to his usual self last week in Halle, showing that his dominance at that level goes across all surfaces.

Of course, Rublev did not actually win the tournament, but still reached his first career grass-court final and was pretty strong throughout his five matches. He seems to be back on the upswing after a quiet few months.

6.Marin CilicChange: +4
2021 Record: 17-11 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 38Last Week Result: Queen’s – QF

If the former US Open champion has one more big run at a slam in him, it could be over the coming weeks at Wimbledon, where he also reached the final in 2017. Cilic has been very good so far on the grass and backed up his Stuttgart title with a quarter-final run at Queen’s.

His game is well suited for the surface and if he is dialed in, he can blow almost anybody off the court. And he has been showing that ability in June.

7.Daniil MedvedevChange: -2
2021 Record: 22-7 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 2Last Week Result: Halle – R1

Maybe press pause on that Medvedev chase for number one. The Russian dropped his opening match in Halle in straight sets, not exactly an encouraging start to his grass court campaign.

Still, he came into the French Open having lost a whole bunch of matches in a row and made the quarter-finals so he can turn things around pretty quickly.

8.Roger FedererChange: -1
2021 Record: 5-3Actual Rank: 8Last Week Result: Halle – R2

Maybe the Federer era really is coming to an end. After withdrawing early at the French Open to save himself for the grass, the Swiss bowed out in the second round of Halle, a tournament he has won ten times in his career.

His second-round loss at the hands of Félix Auger-Aliassime was his earliest loss ever at the event and he did not look particularly good in the match as the young Canadian steamrolled him.

Could Federer flip the switch and go deep at Wimbledon? Sure, he is still Roger Federer. But that would be in contradiction to the way he is playing.

9.Ugo HumbertChange: New to List
2021 Record: 14-13 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 25Last Week Result: Halle – W

What a run Humbert had in Halle. The Frenchman beat two fellow young guns in Sebastian Korda and Auger-Aliassime as well as two Top 10 players in Zverev and Rublev on his way to the biggest title of his career to date.

Can he do it at a slam in best-of-five? We will see. But Humbert reached the fourth round in his only previous Wimbledon appearance and will have plenty of confidence at the All-England club, so watch out.

10.Diego SchwartzmanChange: -2
2021 Record: 16-11 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 11Last Week Result: DNP

Schwartzman is taking a pass on any grass warm-up events, which might suggest that he is punting the grass-court season entirely. That would not be entirely surprising given his poor career record on grass, but his results at Wimbledon have improved in each of the last three years.

11.Félix Auger-AliassimeChange: New to List
2021 Record: 20-13Actual Rank: 19Last Week Result: Halle – SF

Auger-Aliassime had one of the best runs at the warm-up events on grass, reaching the final in Stuttgart and then backing it up last week with a semi-final run in Halle, where he lost in the third set tiebreak to the eventual champion, Humbert.

He also scored the biggest win of his career by ousting Federer in the second round.

The Canadian seems comfortable on grass and his game is very effective on the surface. He keeps knocking on the door of something special and that door cannot hold on much longer.

12.Jannik SinnerChange: -3
2021 Record: 24-12 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 23Last Week Result: Queen’s – R1

Unlike Auger-Aliassime, Sinner is a young gun who is not comfortable on grass. He is still winless in his career on the ATP Tour on the surface following a stunning loss to Brit Jack Draper, who was ranked outside the top 300, in the first round of Queen’s.

The future may be bright for Sinner, but probably not on the lawns.

13.Denis ShapovalovChange: New to List
2021 Record: 18-13Actual Rank: 12Last Week Result: Queen’s – SF

These Canadians like their grass. Shapovalov has had a solid month, following up his quarter-final in Stuttgart with a semi-final at Queen’s. That should not be too surprising given that he is a former junior Wimbledon champion.

His big serve and aggressive tactics translate well to the surface and he has a number of matches under his belt going into Wimbledon, where he could be dangerous if he can execute his game with consistency.

14.Alex de MinaurChange: New to List
2021 Record: 16-13 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 18Last Week Result: Queen’s – SF

After a quiet few months, the young Aussie seems to be on the up again after an impressive semi-final run that saw him beat Cilic in a tight three-setter at Queen’s.

De Minaur started the year with a title but has struggled since, so just getting to the semi-finals is a good step in the right direction.

15.Rafael NadalChange: -11
2021 Record: 23-4 (2 Titles)Actual Rank: 3Last Week Result: DNP

Shocked but not stunned, the tour will be without one of its biggest stars over the coming months. Nadal announced earlier this week that he will miss both Wimbledon and the Olympics, citing the need to “listen to my body.”

He did not cite any specific aches or pains, but Nadal is 35 and the fact that he is still playing given the injuries he has had over the years is a bit of a miracle. But he has taken breaks before and come back fresh so do not be surprised if he is a contender again by the summer.

Off the List:

  • John Isner (DNP)
  • Aslan Karatsev (Lost in Queen’s R2 to Cameron Norrie)
  • Pablo Carreno Busta (DNP)

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