Mardy Fish No. 1? You Bet

Mardy Fish says he’s the top-ranked male in the world – if you go by the combined ranking method. “Automatically I should be the best player,” Fish laughed after losing in the first round Tuesday to unheralded Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina in four sets. And in fact, he’s correct.

Fish is the only male in the top 25 in both singles and doubles (No. 24 and 20, respectively) and his combined ranking of 44 (24 + 20) is tops. According to ATP stat guru Greg Sharko, here is a list of the current combined top 5 in men’s tennis:

Here are the highest-ranked combined singles and doubles players on the ATP World Tour:


                                    Total Rank    Singles    Doubles

1) Mardy Fish                 No. 44         No. 24      No. 20

2) Fernando Verdasco      No. 52         No. 8        No. 44

3) Tommy Robredo         No. 60         No. 17      No. 43

4) Dmitry Tursunov         No. 64         No. 23       No. 41

5) Jurgen Melzer             No. 81         No. 26      No. 55  

“No one ever talks about it, but we talk about it in the locker room all the time,” said Fish.

Soviet Satellites Coming on Strong

A couple of years ago I wrote about the emerging gaggle of players from the countries that became independent after the fall of Soviet Empire. You know, the Latvias and Estonias and all the various Stans. The article here explains some of the reasons for the emergence of this block of nations.

What has struck me in Paris this year is not just the number of players from the Soviet satellites – 13 in the women’s draw, four in the men’s – but their rounding success over the first few days.

Eight of 13 women advanced out of the first round, some with impressive wins, such as Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko’s upset of No. 17 Patty Schnyder. All four men also moved into the second round.

As a group, these countries have a healthy entrant surplus on the American women (8) and are nearly as numerous as Russia (14), which has the second most players in women’s singles here after host France (19).

Some are becoming familiar names, such as Sony Ericsson Open winner and No. 9 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. But most are names you’ve never heard of, such as the towering Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan or 21-year-old Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan (both lost Wednesday). Soon, these Soviet castoffs could be making bigger names for themselves in tennis circles.


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