Since it’s been a proper fortnight since the last rankings were released (or perhaps an improper one, depending on how you spent it), plus a 10 hour ATP delay, I’ll review my arbitrary parameters for the WATCH list. 

This here list comes out every Monday and consists of Who’s Achieved Their Career Highs (acronym: WATCH, geddit?) that particular week for those players ranked between 80-350 in the world (since that’s the level at which most challenger competitors are ranked, you see).  If you’re interested in people ranked higher than #80, then you’re a) at the wrong site and b) gonna hafta wait for the lazy layabouts over at Shank Tennis to publish their look at rankings for the week.  We sort of do this thing in tandem, you know.  With absolutely no planning or interaction whatsover (which only makes it more impressive – kind of like a blind person driving). 

Anyway, here’s this week’s list:

Player NATIONALITY New High (Prev High) Why?
Blaz Kavcic SLOVENIA 83 (96) 2R Oz Open
Grigor Dimitrov BULGARIA 85 (105) 2R Oz Open
Rui Machado PORTUGAL 87 (89) others lost pts.
Milos Raonic CANADA 94 (152) R16 Oz Open
Ryan Sweeting USA 98 (110) SF Honolulu
Jaroslav Pospisil CZECH REPUBLIC 134 (136) FQR Oz Open
Benoit Paire FRANCE 137 (142) 2R Oz Open
Ryan Harrison USA 138 (170) W Honolulu
Vincent Millot FRANCE 149 (160) 1R Oz Open
Martin Klizan SLOVAKIA 154 (155) 2R Heilbronn
Andrej Martin SLOVAKIA 160 (177) SF Singapore
Yuichi Sugita JAPAN 162 (164) QR2 Oz Open
Bastian Knittel GERMANY 169 (208) W Heilbronn
Tatsuma Ito JAPAN 175 (176) QF Singapore
Bernard Tomic AUSTRALIA 182 (199) 3R Oz Open
Robert Farah COLOMBIA 185 (188) QR2 Oz Open
Nikola Ciric SERBIA 194 (196) others lost pts.
Fernando Romboli LEGEND 245 (287) F Bucaramanga
Fritz Wolmarans SOUTH AFRICA 261 (269) QR2 Oz Open
Amir Weintraub ISRAEL 263 (268) SF Israel F2&3
Phillip Bester CANADA 270 (275) 2R Honolulu
Florian Reynet FRANCE 277 (280) QR2 Oz Open
Harri Heliovaara FINLAND 286 (339) W GB F2, 2R Reunion
Rafael Camilo BRAZIL 287 (305) F Brazil F4
Ze Zhang CHINA 288 (296) F China F2
Mao-Xin Gong CHINA 294 (334) W China F2
Javier Marti SPAIN 308 (332) QF Spain F2&3
Pablo Carreno-Busta SPAIN 319 (340) W Spain F2
Daniel Cox GREAT BRITAIN 325 (326) QF China F2
di Wu CHINA 348 (378) FQR Singapore

Some things worth noting: first, Shanky and I aren’t the only rankings tag team going this week: Slovakia’s Martin Klizan and Andrej Martin, China’s Ze Zheng and Mao-Xin Gong, and Spain’s Javier Marti and Pablo Carreno-Busta all achieving career highs right next to each other.  Do you think they plan that? Like matching doubles outfits?  Doubtful, but remarkable nonetheless. 

Also, though Ryan Harrison did a great job in taking his first ever Challenger title this week, he is still the second-ranked Ryan in the United States.  Which is good, as it gives the young American something yet to shoot for.  Don’t want the lad to be without any further goals, now do we?

Finally, four of this year’s Challenger Tennis Players To Watch made this week’s list: Romboli, Marti, Carreno and Cox.  And six of them – Kavcic, Dimitrov, Raonic, Paire, Harrison, and Klizan – are from last year’s bunch.  So I feel fairly good that – out the fifty or so PtW’s of the last two years, 20% of them are still WATCHworthy (at least for this week, anyway).