The week started with ephemeris in Dubai. Novak Djokovic reached, in his second round match before Malek Jaziri, 700 ATP victories, expanding to 13 members the exclusive club of players who have reached that number of victories. Most ATP wins
The achievement, outstanding in itself, is even more remarkable considering that to reach that round number, the Serbian has only needed 847 matches, equivalent to a percentage of 82,65%, the second best in the ATP history, just behind Bjorn Borg who concluded his career with 83,09%. It seems that the Serbian has the record quite close, but at this point of percentage and number of matches every hundredth counts; Novak should win 46 of his next 50 matches to displace the Swedish, even momentarily, the record he holds. Best ATP wins percentage
And when everything seemed to follow the established script – victory after victory of Djokovic – the Serbian party was embittered by an eye infection that ended up coming out in his quarterfinals match before Feliciano Lopez. The circumstance was exploited by Stan Wawrinka who, after an uneven start, won the prestigious tournament after beating in semis to Nick Kyrgios who was on a real winning streak and a surprising Marcos Baghdatis that appeared in an ATP 500 final after almost 6 years.
The Swiss has won the last 9 finals he has played and he is becoming in a real predator of finals. Valuable addition: two Grand Slam, a Masters 1000 tournament, and three ATP 500 and ATP 250. But, he is still far away from Roger Federer, who won 24 finals he played between Vienna 2003 and Bangkok 2005. Two years unbeaten in finals until David Nalbandian broke the spell in the Masters, overcoming two sets. Federer list of finals
Kyrgios stood out again in Dubai, showing that this is going to be his season. He defeated Berdych for second time – the Czech has not been able to even take him to a tie-break in the last two matches – and he raises his count of victories against top-10 to seven. The Australian played the entire tournament undermined physically by a back injury and he has to quit in the semifinal against Wawrinka.
The influence of the injury was clearly reflected in his service stats; If in Marseille he got 14.4 aces per game, 69,70% first service in and 85,33% first service points won, in Dubai these statistics fell to 8.5, 60,43% and 70,50% respectively. It is commendable that the young Kyrgios has been able to reach the semifinal despite the decline in the performance of his best weapon. Dubai stats
Dominic Thiem, the player du jour, won the Acapulco tournament closing a majestic February; he has gone from promise budding to directly threaten the top-10. In Mexico he achieved the first ATP 500 of his career and he has shown that he can also win out of clay, a surface in which he managed his other four titles.
His stats in Acapulco have been impressive: leader in number of aces with 44 – half of them at the final against Tomic – best percentage of first service (68%), best percentage of service points won (71%), best percentage of return points won against first service (37%) and more breaks converted (19). Beyond the data, his play left a great impression. He delighted against Dimitrov and he literally crushed to Querrey who has won in Delray Beach. Acapulco stats
The Austrian is the player with more ATP victories so far this season with 18, two more than Roberto Bautista who is in second position. In the list of Monday he will be shown with 2430 points, in the fourteenth position, quite close to Milos Raonic. Up to Roland Garros he defends 530 points, with the milestones of quarters at Miami and the title in Nice as best results last year. As he will also have a range of seeded in all major tournaments – the Austrian has won 32 positions in the ranking in the last 52 weeks – he has guaranteed an accessible draw for the early rounds. In short, the options of Thiem to storm the top-10 are excellent. If he manages to keep the level in the major events we will see him very soon among the best. 2016 most wins
And in Sao Paulo, title to Pablo Cuevas, another that, as Thiem, has taken the elevator and seems not to want to get off. The Uruguayan has reissued his last year triumph, getting the double Rio-Sao Paulo. Three of the five ATP titles of the Uruguayan have been on Brazilian soil.
Cuevas extends his victories streak to nine, only one behind he achieved in 2014 when he won in Baastad and Umag consecutively. The Uruguayan will not take part in the qualifying round of Davis Cup with his country against Peru, so we will have to wait for Indian Wells to see if he manages to beat his own mark.
In Brazil also stood out Pablo Carreno Busta who qualified to play his first ATP final after beating three compatriots. The Asturian defended his fate with courage, especially in the first set, but the experience of Cuevas eventually imposed. With 10 breaks in the tournament, it seems that the weakness of Carreno Busta remains the forcefulness of his service, especially with the first. Pablo Carreno Sao Paulo stats
Next week we will discuss the first qualifying rounds of Davis Cup, with many top players. The playoffs Great Britain-Japan and Australia-United States, the ultimate tennis classic, will be the centre of attention. France-Canada and Germany-Czech Republic are also attractive encounters. Hopefully there will be emotion and good tennis, the ingredients that have made big this competition and need to get out of the crisis in which has engulfed .
Gabriel García / thetennisbase.com