ATP Rankings: Leander Paes back in top 50 after Dubai Open runner-up finish
India’s evergreen doubles tennis ace Leander Paes made a return to the top 50 of the world rankings after reaching the final at last week’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The performance triggered a rise of six places, sending the 44-year-old veteran to the 46th place in the latest ATP Rankings released on Monday, March 5, 2018.
By dint of reaching the summit clash of this ATP 500 event, Paes earned 300 points and a prize money of $41,680.
Paes played the prestigious Middle Eastern event in tandem with Jamie Cerretani of the USA. This was the second tournament together for the duo, who had earlier found success at the Newport Beach Challenger in January.
Paes followed it up with a run to the final of the Dallas Challenger the very next week, where he played with Joe Salisbury. But he failed to take that form onto the main ATP World Tour circuit and had been struggling ever since.
He suffered two consecutive first round defeats alongside Purav Raja until finally clicking with Cerretani at Dubai. The two upset the fourth seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in the quarter-finals before succumbing to a 2-6, 6-7(2) defeat to the reigning US Open champions Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in the summit clash.
This was Paes’ first ATP World Tour final since he and Andre Begemann tasted defeat at the St Petersburg Open final in September, 2016. It was also the first time this year that any Indian made it to the doubles final of an ATP Tour event.
The 18-time Grand Slam champion is now the India No. 3 after Divij Sharan, who climbed a solitary rung to 44th. Rohan Bopanna continues to lead the pack at No. 20.
Paes’ regular partner Raja is currently 62nd while Vishnu Vardhan is now at a career-high 99th.
In singles, Yuki Bhambri dropped five places to 110th, Ramkumar Ramanathan too slid a couple of spots to be 135th. They continue to be the only two Indians in the top 200.