Alcaraz's Ranking Surge Among Best Stats Of 2021


Yesterday, we began to look at the best stats of 2021, including match records by surface and performance under pressure. Today, we will examine the season’s biggest movers, first-time winners and fast facts.

Top Movers For Year-End Top 50 Finishers

 Player  Ranking Jump  Year-End 2019 vs. 2020
 1) Carlos Alcaraz  +109  No. 141 to No. 32* 
 2) Aslan Karatsev  +94  No. 112 to No. 18
 3) Sebastian Korda  +77  No. 118 to No. 41
 4) Ilya Ivashka  +60  No. 108 to No. 48
 5) Cameron Norrie  +59  No. 71 to No. 12*

Carlos Alcaraz did not just break onto the scene in 2021 — the Spaniard proved he will be a force to be reckoned with on the ATP Tour for years to come. The teen claimed victories against Stefanos Tsitsipas, Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner, Andy Murray and other stars this season. Those wins helped him climb from World No. 141 to his current spot, a career-high World No. 32 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Alcaraz completed his dream year by triumphing at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.

Top Movers For Year-End Top 100 Finishers

 Player  Ranking Jump  Year-End 2019 vs. 2020
 1) Juan Manuel Cerundolo  +252  No. 341 to No. 89
 2) Jenson Brooksby  +251  No. 307 to No. 56*
 3) Alex Molcan  +225  No. 312 to No. 87*
 4) Sebastian Baez  +212  No. 309 to No. 97
 5) Mackenzie McDonald  +138  No. 193 to No. 55

Jenson Brooksby was named Newcomer of the Year in the 2021 ATP Awards after a breakthrough campaign in which he showed he is one of the toughest competitors on the ATP Tour. The American soared 251 spots in the FedEx ATP Rankings to move to the fringe of the Top 50. The Californian advanced to his maiden tour-level final in Newport, reached the semi-finals in Washington and won a set against Novak Djokovic at the US Open. Mackenzie McDonald, the Comeback Player of the Year in the 2021 ATP Awards, surged 138 spots.

2021 Fast Facts
– Four players cracked the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time in 2021: Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz, Jannik Sinner and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

– Three players who won ATP Tour titles this season saved at least one match point en route to the trophy. Rafael Nadal did it twice. Jannik Sinner saved a match point in his Melbourne-1 semi-final against Karen Khachanov, Nikoloz Basilashvili saved a match point against Roger Federer in the Doha quarter-finals, Nadal saved a match point against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Barcelona final and he saved two match points in the third round in Rome against Denis Shapovalov.

– Year-end No. 1 team Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic lifted nine tour-level trophies in their first season as a duo. No other player claimed more than four tour-level doubles trophies in 2021.

– There were nine all tie-break matches this year, including two at ATP Masters 1000 events. In Miami, Ilya Ivashka beat Soonwoo Kwon 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 7-6(3) in the first round and in Madrid, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina battled past Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 7-6(4) in the first round.

– One qualifier claimed an ATP Tour trophy in 2021. Juan Manuel Cerundolo, then World No. 335, triumphed in Cordoba as a qualifier on his Tour debut. Cerundolo became the first player to emerge victorious on his ATP Tour debut in 17 years.

2020 First-Time Winners (10)

 Player  Age  Tournament
 Daniel Evans  30  Melbourne-2
 Juan Manuel Cerundolo  19  Cordoba
 Alexei Popyrin  21  Singapore
 Aslan Karatsev  27  Dubai
 Sebastian Korda  20  Parma
 Cameron Norrie  25  Los Cabos
 Carlos Alcaraz  18  Umag
 Ilya Ivashka  27  Winston-Salem
 Soonwoo Kwon  23  Nur-Sultan
 Tommy Paul  24  Stockholm

There were 10 first-time ATP Tour champions in 2021, ranging from #NextGenATP stars to veterans who finally made their breakthrough. Daniel Evans was 30 when he lifted the trophy in Melbourne. Three players who competed in Milan — Alcaraz, Cerundolo and Sebastian Korda, also became first-time tour-level winners. So did Cameron Norrie, the Los Cabos champion who later earned a Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells. Aslan Karatsev, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals as a qualifier, earned glory for the first time in Dubai.

Titles Won Without Losing A Set

 Player  Tournament (Sets Won)  Player  Tournament (Sets Won)
 Hubert Hurkacz  Delray Beach (8)  Casper Ruud  Bastad (6)
 Daniel Evans  Melbourne-2 (10)  Cameron Norrie  Los Cabos (8)
 Diego Schwartzman  Buenos Aires (8)  Casper Ruud  Gstaad (8) 
 Alexander Zverev  Acapulco (8)  Hubert Hurkacz   Metz (8)
 Stefanos Tsitsipas  Monte Carlo (9)  Jannik Sinner  Sofia (8)
 Sebastian Korda  Parma (10)  Aslan Karatssev  Moscow (8)
 Marin Cilic  Stuttgart (10)  Jannik Sinner  Antwerp (8)

Fourteen of this year’s titlists triumphed without losing a set. Three players who competed in Turin — Hubert Hurkacz (Delray Beach, Metz), Casper Ruud (Bastad, Gstaad) and Jannik Sinner (Sofia, Antwerp), accomplished the feat twice.

Infosys ATP Stats – 2021 Leaders

 Stat  Category Leader  Percentage
 Service Games Won  John Isner  92.2%
 Break Points Saved  Matteo Berrettini  73%
 Return Games Won  Rafael Nadal  35.6%
 Break Points Converted  Daniil Medvedev  46.6%

Break points saved and converted proved key in 2021 for two Nitto ATP Finals competitors. Italian Matteo Berrettini led the ATP Tour by saving 73 per cent of the break points he faced, which helped him earn a spot in Turin in front of his home crowd. Daniil Medvedev was the best at converting his break points, doing so nearly 47 per cent of the time this year.

Rapid Fire
Most Aces in Best-of-3 Match: 36, John Isner (d. Wolf, Atlanta R1) and Sam Querrey (l. to Gojowczyk, Atlanta R1)

Most Aces in Best-of-5 Match: 49, Kevin Anderson (d. Vesely, US Open R1)

Longest Winning Streak: 22, Novak Djokovic

Youngest Final: Casper Ruud (22) def. Hugo Gaston (20) in Gstaad

Oldest Final: Rafael Nadal (34) def. Novak Djokovic (33) in Rome

Read More From Our Best Of 2021 Series

– Research contributed by Greg Sharko


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