Why Felix & Federer Can Gain In The ATP Rankings On Clay
#NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime was still outside the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings less than two months ago. But now, he has his sights set on the Top 30, and possibly even the Top 20 with the clay-court season getting underway.
After a run to his first ATP Tour final in Rio de Janeiro (on clay) and the Miami semi-finals, Auger-Aliassime is up to a career-high World No. 33, having become the first player born in the 2000s to crack the world's Top 50. With only 52 points to defend through Roland Garros, Felix is poised to push higher in the coming weeks.
The only player ranked ahead of the 18-year-old with fewer points to defend is 101-time tour-level titlist Roger Federer, who has not played on clay since 2016. There is just one more player ranked ahead of Felix who has less than 100 points to defend, and that's World No. 14 Russian Daniil Medvedev, who is defending only 75 points through Roland Garros.
Felix has enjoyed success on clay, too. He owns a 9-7 tour-level record on the red dirt, which is his best mark (in percentage terms) on any surface. Auger-Aliassime also advanced to the 2016 Roland Garros Boys' Singles final.
Auger-Aliassime might be able to make a move during this upcoming stretch because of the number of points players ranked above him will be dropping through Roland Garros. With all those points off, the only players from 20th on who will remain ahead of the Canadian are No. 20 Denis Shapovalov, No. 23 Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 25 Alex de Minaur.
Points To Defend Through Roland Garros
|Player (Current Points)||Points To Defend||Player||Points To Defend|
|20) Denis Shapovalov - 1,820||505||27) Gilles Simon - 1,340||350|
|21) David Goffin - 1,765||810||28) Pablo Carreno Busta - 1,300||550|
|22) Kyle Edmund - 1,680||565||29) Grigor Dimitrov - 1,300||560|
|23) Roberto Bautista Agut - 1,680||360||30) Frances Tiafoe - 1,290||235|
|24) Diego Schwartzman - 1,485||540||31) Lucas Pouille - 1,275||155|
|25) Alex de Minaur - 1,439||103||32) Laslo Djere - 1,246||167|
|26) Richard Gasquet - 1,375||415||33) Felix Auger-Aliassime - 1,245||52|
World No. 4 Federer gained plenty of momentum by winning the Miami Open presented by Itau, his 28th ATP Masters 1000 title. And now, the Swiss will try to maintain his form as he prepares to compete on clay for the first time since 2016 Rome.
Federer could challenge Alexander Zverev (who is defending 2,570 points during the swing) for the third spot in the ATP Rankings, and potentially Rafael Nadal (who is defending 4,680 points) for World No. 2.
Points Defending Through Roland Garros
Although Nadal and Zverev will play more on clay than Federer — Zverev began his swing this week as the top seed at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech, where he lost to Jaume Munar — it gives the Swiss an opportunity to make up ground. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is also in a good position, only defending 855 points, a large portion of which came from a semi-final showing in Rome and a run to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.
A four-time ATP Tour champion, Medvedev may also make a move to crack the Top 10 for the first time. All rivals ranked ahead of Medvedev, except Federer, are defending at least 160 more points than him.
Former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka is another player who could make a move. The Swiss, World No. 36, is at his highest ATP Ranking since last May. And with only 65 points to defend through the clay-court Grand Slam, he too will be looking to take advantage.
Players With The Most ATP Ranking Points To Defend Through Roland Garros
|Player||Points To Defend|
|No. 2 Rafael Nadal||4,680|
|No. 3 Alexander Zverev||2,570|
|No. 5 Dominic Thiem||2,330|
|No. 16 Marco Cecchinato||1,041|
|No. 6 Kei Nishikori||970|
Players In The Top 30 With Fewest Points To Defend Through Roland Garros
|Player||Points To Defend|
|No. 4 Roger Federer||0|
|No. 14 Daniil Medvedev||75|
|No. 25 Alex de Minaur||103|
|No. 19 Gael Monfils||145|
|No. 15 Milos Raonic||180|