Biggest movers: Fourlis continues ascent
Jaimee Fourlis has continued her excellent start to 2017 and is now within striking distance of the world's top 250, while Alex Bolt and Matt Ebden made impressive gains.
Jaimee Fourlis has jumped 24 places in the latest ATP rankings to set a career-high mark of No.271.
The 17-year-old Victorian made her latest move after advancing to the quarterfinals of the $60,000 ITF event in Launceston, part of the Australian Pro Tour.
Fourlis was ranked outside the world’s top 400 to begin the season, but after winning her opening round match at Australian Open 2017 and then reaching the last eight in Launceston, she’s now the Aussie No.8.
She’s also verging on the world’s top 250.
This is something Nicole Pratt, when she took on the role in 2015 as Australia’s head of women’s tennis, said was one of her highest priorities – getting as many Aussie women as possible inside the 100-250 ranking bracket, which all but guarantees acceptance into Grand Slam qualifying.
When she made those comments in November 2015, there were only three women – Anastasia Rodionova and Casey Dellacqua (who now focus primarily on doubles) and the since-retired Jarmila Wolfe – ranked there.
Now there are four – Ash Barty, Arina Rodionova, Lizette Cabrera and Olivia Rogowska.
Add to that group the rapidly rising teens Destanee Aiava (No.253) and Fourlis (No.271), and the picture looks a whole lot rosier than it did 15 months ago.
On the men’s side, Alex Bolt and Matt Ebden enjoyed significant improvements in the latest ATP rankings as they make encouraging returns following time away from the game.
Bolt – who missed almost all of 2016 when he took a burnout-induced break from tennis – rose 52 places to world No.483 after reaching the quarters at the Launceston Challenger.
Since returning to tennis in 2017, Bolt has put together a win-loss record of 11-4.
Ebden, who struggled with a knee ailment in 2016 which robbed him of seven months of court time, moved up 74 places to 490th after winning a round at the ATP event in Quito.
The West Australian fell to eventual finalist Paolo Lorenzi.