Milos Raonic is capable of shaking up the hierarchy in the ATP circuit, but it’s thanks to his…basketball skills that the Canadian is topping our offbeat ranking.

He’s one of the players on form in this start of the season : Milos Raonic is capable of shaking up the hierarchy in the ATP circuit, but it’s thanks to his…basketball skills that the Canadian is topping our offbeat ranking. He is ahead of Bencic, the small up and coming Swiss, and Dustin Brown, more showman than ever.

 

1- Milos Raonic (+2).

 

A sportsman is never really at rest. Between two tennis tournaments, Milos Raonic made the most of his growing popularity by accepting the invitation of the basketball All Star Game organizers to take part in the celebrity’s game.

 

 

The Canadian bomber, who was facing a US team with a few famous fellow countrymen, took the opportunity to put on a show by dunking. Not the most spectacular of dunks, but still, that’s class !

 

 

 

Also classy : being coached by Drake.

 

 

In any case, Raonic seems to be having a good time. 2016, Milos’ year ?

 

 

2- Belinda Bencic (NE).

 

On the women’s circuit, the revelation of the beginning of this season is named Belinda Bencic. The Swiss, who managed to qualify for the final of the St-Petersburg tournament this week, confirms her good form and enters the top 10 of the WTA ranking for the first time.

 

 

 

Bencic was greeted by her great friend Kristina Mladenovic…

 

 

…and received nice encouragement drawings from her yougest fans.

 

 

Her recipe for her series of wins ? Good nutrition between two games. She could almost set up a picnic table next to her chair…

 

 

3- Dustin Brown (NE).

 

As Dustin Brown makes his comeback. The German rasta was the author of the most beautiful shot of the season so far. By miles. What a mad reflex !

 

 

 

 

Which didn’t prevent him from losing his match, during the first round of the Bergamo Challenger…And despite the cheering of his drawing fans.

 

 

As a result, the German went home quicker than expected to catch up with his good friend and watch a movie…

 

 

Good movie choice, as well.

 

4- Dominic Thiem (NE).

 

Dominic Thien’s Argentinian week had started with a photo alongside two dogs and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

 

 

And was followed by a semi-final in which he defeated Rafael Nadal.

 

 

It ended magnificently, after his victory in the final against another Spaniard, Nicolas Almagro (7/6 3/6 7/6).

 

 

Right in front of the local Guillermo Coria’s eyes.

 

 

It’s already the fourth trophy won by Dominic Thiem in less than a year, all on clay.

 

 

Watch out for him at the next French Open !

 

5- Andy Murray (NE).

 

The Scot is a dad ! He feared that he couldn’t go all the way at the Australian Open but his partner finally waited for him to take part - and lose - in the final of the tournament before giving birth to a little girl whose name is yet to be known.

 

 

The little Murray’s birth enables us to raise a curious fact on the ATP circuit : the first four of the ATP ranking are all fathers ! It would seem like fathering contributes to the good performances on the tennis court. Go figure out why…

 

 

6- Venus Williams (NE).

 

Forty-ninth win on the circuit for Venus Williams, who won the Taiwan Open this week. Without a real fright, as she calmly defeated the Japanese Misaki Doi in the final (6/4 6/2).

 

 

This win was shared with the tournament’s ballboys, who were happy to pose alongside after the final.

 

 

Well, some of them seemed happier than others…

 

7- Eugenie Bouchard (+2).

 

Milos Raonic wasn’t the only tennis player to take part in the All Star Game on the Canadian team : Eugénie Bouchard was also there on the court…and obviously very assiduous.

 

 

The atmosphere seemed pretty relaxed on the court as well as in the dressing rooms, as this selfie taken with Raonic and Win Butler, the leader of the band Arcade Fire, shows.

 

 

8- Juan Martin Del Potro (NE).

 

He’s back ! Finally. Well, technically, we should keep are fingers crossed, but Juan Martin Del Potro should logically take part in the Delray Beach Open, in the US, this week. Before this big event, the Argentine has decided to relax in front of the Superbowl.

 

 

Then he finally arrived in Delray Beach where he received a warm welcome.

 

 

Del Potro obviously benefits from a wild card and will face the American Denis Kudla in the first round.

 

 

 

9- Martin Klizan (NE).

 

Nice victory for Martin Klizan in Rotterdam, with a final won 6/7 6/3 6/1 against the seed number 5, Gaël Monfils.

 

 

It’s the Slovak’s fourth trophy on the ATP circuit, in four finals played. Efficiency. But when he plays, this guy is focused, un his own world !

 

 

 

 

10- Roberta Vinci (NE).

 

Tenth title for Roberta Vinci on the circuit. In the final of the St-Petersburg tournament, she gave the revelation Roberta Vinci a lesson (6/4 6/3).

 

 

Having just turned 33, the Italian shows  that she still has her best days ahead of her. Her secret ? A refreshing attitude, in any circumstances.

 

 

11- Kei Nishikori (NE).

 

Relaxed like Kei, who has just calmly won HIS tournament in Memphis. It’s actually the fourth time in a row that he has won it ! And there is no cooler trophy on the circuit than the one you get in Memphis.

 

 

Year after year, the guitars seem to get nicer.

 

 

In the final, the Japanese has easily defeated the tournament’s surprise, the American Taylor Fritz (6/4 6/4), who has reached the final despite this being only his third tournament on the ATP circuit. Never had an American player been so precocious. Watch out for this kid…

 

12- Novak Djokovic (-11).

 

News from the world number 1 ? Everything seems to be going well for him, as he enjoyed a few days off to go back to his country, looking pretty happy.

 

 

Djoko took the opportunity to promote his foundation alongside his wife.

 

 

He has also tested his huge popularity in Serbia during a basketball game.

 

 

As for tennis, the next tournament on his agenda is Dubai in a few days, with even an entry in the doubles, alongside his fellow countryman Zimonjic.

 

 

A good way to prepare for the olympic tournament next summer.

 

13- Rafael Nadal (NE).

 

It is still very complicated for Rafael Nadal in this start of the season…The Majorcan didn’t reassure himself after losing in the semi-final of the Argentina Open against Dominic Thiem, in Buenos Aires’ moistness…

 

 

…with Guillermo Vilas and his family watching from the stands.

 

 

Well, in any case, Nadal didn’t do the trip for nothing, as he was granted an interview with the Argentine president, Mauricio Macri.

 

 

Classy.

 

14- Benoit Paire (-8).

 

The revelation of the end of the 2015 season is facing difficulties in 2016. And obviously, it annoys him. His latest defeat in the first round in Rotterdam against Dodig was the opportunity to see the Frenchman doubting, talking to himself, evidently facing troubles finding his confidence and losing his bearings.

 

 

In this case, the solution is looking forward, with a very heavy program ahead of him.

 

 

The opportunity to really kickstart this damn 2016 season. It’s time.

 

15- Maria Sharapova (-7).