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Rankings Report: Kei Nishikori Makes History, Caroline Garcia's Rise Continues


What began as "Project 45," a quest to find Japan's next male tennis star after Shuzo Matsuoka reached a career-high ranking of No. 45 for both himself and his country in 1992, reached new heights this week.

Kei Nishikori becomes the first Japanese man to rank inside the world's top 10 this week on the back of a runner-up showing at the Mutua Madrid Open. He defeated Milos Raonic and David Ferrer to reach his first final at a Masters 1000 event and led Rafael Nadal by a set and a break in the final match before being forced to retire in the third set due to an injury. 


Nishikori is also first Asian man to break the top 10 since Thailand’s Paradorn Srichaphan, who did so in 2003.

Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut rose 17 spots in the rankings to a new career-high of No. 28 off of a semifinal showing in Madrid. The 26-year-old had never been past the second round in a Masters 1000 event before this year, but reached the fourth and third rounds in Indian Wells and Miami, respectively. Santiago Giraldo and Dominic Thiem, each of whome scored big upsets in the Caja Magica, also hit new career highs today. Giraldo, who upset Andy Murray en route to the quarterfinals, rose 10 spots to No. 36 while Thiem, the promising 20-year-old Austrian, upset Stanislas Wawrinka in the second round and rose nine places to No. 61.

On the WTA, Maria Sharapova made inroads in her quest to return to the world's top 5 as she rose from No. 9 to No. 7 after beating Simona Halep to win Madrid. Halep herself stays put at No. 5 this week, but she is merely 21 points behind the injured Victoria Azarenka for the No. 4 spot (and perhaps more importantly, her own quarter of the draw at Roland Garros.)

Caroline Garcia, who saw her 11-match winning streak come to an end at the hands of Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals of Madrid, makes her top 50 debut this week at No. 46 (up from No. 51.) Garcia has hit a rich vein of form of late, taking her first career title in Bogota, leading France to victory over the United States in Fed Cup and qualfying and defeating Angelique Kerber and Sara Errani in Madrid. The Frenchwoman has seen her ranking rise 30 spots since January.

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