ATP rankings: Kei Nishikori becomes first Japanese player to crack top 10
Kei Nishikori this week became the first Japanese player to crack the top 10 in the ATP Tour rankings.
The 24-year-old moved up from No. 12 to No. 9 after reaching his first Masters 1000 final, at the Madrid Open, where he retired against Rafael Nadal in the third set because of a back injury. He leapfrogged Milos Raonic (who slipped from ninth to 10th) and John Isner (who fell from 10th to 11th).
"It was a big goal for me to get top 10, but it's only one week for now," Nishikori said. "So I have to keep playing better tennis and keep this ranking."
Nishikori began the year at No. 17. He's 27-5 in 2014, including titles in Memphis and Barcelona and a semifinal appearance at the Sony Open (where he withdrew with a groin injury). He's defeated Roger Federer, David Ferrer (twice), Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov, Ernests Gulbis and Marin Cilic (twice).
In other rankings news:
• Gulbis also hit a career high (No. 17) after advancing to the Madrid quarterfinals. The 25-year-old Latvian was ranked outside the top 100 as recently as February 2013.
• Madrid semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut climbed 17 spots to a career-high No. 28. The 26-year-old Spaniard has won 19 main-draw matches this year after entering this year with only 29 for his career.
• Santiago Giraldo, 26, continued his sudden surge after making the Madrid quarterfinals as a qualifier, his third consecutive tournament in the last eight or better. The Colombian jumped 10 spots to a career-high No. 36, up from No. 86 only six weeks ago.