2011 ATP Rankings Risers
Tipsarevic had spent the better part of four years as a top-50 player, but he finally broke into the ATP's upper echelon in 2011. He saved the best for last this season, making his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the U.S. Open, winning the Malaysian Open and the Kremlin Cup in October and making his first Tour Finals in November after Andy Murray pulled out.
Juan Martin del Potro
Del Potro's ranking actually bottomed out at No. 485 in January. Of course, the 2009 U.S. Open champion's plummet was due to a wrist injury. He didn't play for nine straight months in 2010. But by April 2011, he was back in the top 50. Del Potro won two tournaments this season and pushed Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to four sets at the French Open and Wimbledon, respectively.
The Ukrainian began the year just inside the top 50 and began his climb at the Australian Open. Dolgopolov ousted Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Robin Soderling on the way to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal. In July, he won his first ATP event, downing Marin Cilic in the final of the Croatia Open.
The 21-year-old Japanese phenom reached the top 50 in April and jumped into the top 30 after reaching the semifinals of the Shanghai Masters in October. A month later, Nishikori pulled off a stunner, upsetting No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Swiss Indoors.
Born in then-Yugoslavia, Raonic has developed into Canada's only top-100 player. Nobody ranked above Raonic is younger than him. At 20, he shot up more than 100 spots in January and February alone, making the fourth round of the Australian Open, winning San Jose and making the final in Memphis.
Alex Bogomolov Jr.
Bogomolov was voted the most improved player on tour by his peers after a steady season. Bogomolov didn't make any finals, but he did beat Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and made the third round of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
The enigmatic American reached the top 100 in May but fell back to No. 128 in August. His rise to No. 39 really got going at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, where he reached his first career ATP semifinal. He then created a stir at the U.S. Open, reaching the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time. Young capped his year with his first ATP final in October at the Thailand Open.
Tursunov's rise was like Del Potro's -- injury related. He got back the rankings points he lost from ankle surgery in February 2010 and won his first tournament in two years, the Unicef Open, in June. Tursonov, 28, saw his highest ranking at No. 20 in 2006.
Australian tennis was flipped upside down in 2011. Lleyton Hewitt fell from No. 54 to No. 188, while Tomic, who turned 19 in October, made the second biggest jump of anybody in the top 50. A wild card at the Aussie Open, Tomic reached the third round. He did even better at Wimbledon, knocking off Robin Soderling and making the quarterfinals.
Blake, 31, began the season with his lowest ranking in six years and fell to No. 173 in March before beginning a comeback. For the year, Blake went 18-16, reached the semis in Stockholm and won a couple of Challenger events.