– With his performances on last weeks, Mikhail Kukushkin has comebacked where I think he belongs, the Top-100. He has climbed his way back into where I think he belongs, the Top-100, after a R3 showing in the USO, and two Challenger wins. But it hasn’t just been a three week work, as 2013 has seen him climb from #324 in June ( his drop in the rankings was due to a combination of injuries in the 2nd half of 2012 and not being able to defend his early points from 2012 [ he reached R4 in the AO and R3 in Monte-Carlo] ) to finally #100 this week. This year he’s won 3 CH’s [ Kosice, Istanbul-2 and Izmir] , and has reached 2 finals [ Tanger and Astana]. He didn’t appear much on the main tour ( 2-4 record, plus one loss to Hajekon Davis Cup), but he performed great in the USO, as he qualified and reached R3, losing to Ferrer in a hard-fought match. I think it’s time again for Mikhail to play ATP’s regularly, and I think he will end the year around #85.
Some Facts about him:
– Reached his 1st SF in Moscow 09′ ( aged 21).
– Won St.Petersburg over #10 at the time Youzhny in 2010.
– He ended 2010 in the Top-60.
– He made his maiden GS R4 in the AO, beating #23 Troicki and #15 Monfils in 5 sets.
– He also made his only M-1000 R3 in Monte-Carlo 2012 ( beating #20 Florian Mayer).
– Is yet to beat a Top-10 player.
– Has 9 Challenger titles in his résumé.
– With his epic win over #11 Milos Raonic ( he even saved 1 MP, winning 7-5 in the fifth), the talented frenchman Richard Gasquet finally broke his curse of not progressing further than R4 in any Grand Slam since Wimbledon 2007 [ till yesterday he had a 1-14 record on GS R4’s].
– After his meritorious run in SW19 ( he reached the QF’s for the first time, and even leaded Andy Murray by 7/6 *5/4), we can now conclude that Ferrer has become an all court player, as he has now made quarterfinals on all Slams. He started his career as a claycourt specialist, and he admitted that he had never played on grass till 2002, when he was 20 years old!!! But as the time advanced he became a very good hardcourt player, making his first Grand Slam semifinal on Flushing Meadows, in 2007 and his second on Australian Open, in 2011. And now, he even has 2 ATP titles on grass, and a quarterfinal appearance in Wimbledon. Also, out of his 15 ATP titles, he won 7 of them outside of clay. He has QF or better in every Masters 1000 or Grand Slam outside of clay, with the exception of Canada Masters ( in which his best result was R3 in 2008).
– It’s clear that Marcell is not a consistent player, and because of that many people think that he doesn’t deserve his ranking (#23), which may be right, because till RG he had a 7-10 W/L on the season, here in Paris he has done his annually great run, taking advantage of an easy draw to reach R4. However, I think that his run stops at R4 vs Ferrer Let’s take a look at his best runs since 2008: Continue reading