No. 41 Tennys Sandgren, +22
The second time proved to be the charm for the 27-year-old Sandgren. The American, who fell short in his first ATP Tour final last April against Steve Johnson, streaked to the ASB Classic title in Auckland without dropping a set.
In a way, it was a full-circle moment. When Sandgren left Auckland last year after a first-round defeat against Hyeon Chung, he was barely inside the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings, with two tour-level match wins to his name. At the 2018 Australian Open, Sandgren won four matches to reach the quarter-finals, and he has not looked back since. Now the right-hander owns 23 victories, and he arrives at Melbourne Park at a career-best ATP Ranking of No. 41, fourth among Americans.
No. 51 Jan-Lennard Struff, +7
It was an all-around strong week for Struff, who reached his first tour-level semi-final since 2017 St. Petersburg, where he defeated Borna Coric and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Perhaps the highlight of Struff’s Auckland effort was his quarter-final victory against Pablo Carreno Busta, which took him two hours and 59 minutes to complete. There were three tie-breaks in the marathon, with Struff taking the decider 9/7.
Not only did Struff move within seven spots of his career-best ATP Ranking, but he also enjoyed success on the doubles court. Struff partnered Ben McLachlan to their second title as a pair, and they are the eighth seeds at the Australian Open.
No. 68 Cameron Norrie, +25
The left-handed Brit advanced to his first ATP Tour final in Auckland. It was an impressive performance considering that a week ago, he owned just two tour-level match wins.
Norrie has now reached the quarter-finals or better on the ATP Tour six times, and he is now within two spots of his career-best ATP Ranking of No. 66, which he achieved on 20 August 2018. Norrie begins his Australian Open against Taylor Fritz, whom he beat in the last eight at Auckland. Norrie and Fritz are also doubles partners in Melbourne.