Alexander Zverev has a new career-high ranking on the ATP Tour. The 20-year old is now the 8th-ranked player in the world, the highest that he has ever been in the ATP's rankings. Zverev hasn't contested a match since losing in the fourth round of Wimbledon to Milos Raonic. But due to other players losing points, Zverev has gained a few spots.

Zverev leaps over three players

Last week Zverev was ranked 11th on tour.

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Although he did not play in any of last week's events, the drop date for the 2016 Rogers Cup arrived. Not only did that see Novak Djokovic lose 1000 ranking points, a factor in his descending out of the top four, but three other top-ten players lost meaningful points. Kei Nishikori made the final of the 2016 Rogers Cup and so he lost 600 ranking points on July 31st. Milos Raonic lost 180 points associated with making the quarterfinals in Canada last year.

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Lastly, Grigor Dimitrov lost the same amount as Raonic. Those three players all dropped below Zverev, a player that went out in Canada's first round last year and therefore had little to lose by the drop date.

Not just top ten's youngest player

The July 31st rankings are the first rankings that feature Zverev in the top ten. However, there is a huge gap in the rankings between him and other similarly-aged players.

Not only is Zverev the youngest player in the top ten, but he is, in fact, the youngest player in the top 50. At present 19-year old Russian Andrey Rublev is ranked 51st in the world, the first player that is younger than Zverev as one looks down the current ATP rankings. Borna Coric is a little older than Zverev, the Croat currently ranked 54th at the age of 20. That Zverev is already in the top ten and still has time on his side relative to every player in the top 50 certainly bodes well for his long-term future on tour.

But Zverev is in a favorable position right now to improve his ranking even further before season's end. The 20-year old, who recently signed Juan Carlos Ferrero on as a new coach, did not do well in the latter stages of 2016. He went out in the 2nd round of the US Open and he did poorly in all of Canada (1st round), Shanghai (round of 16), and the 2016 Paris Masters (did not compete). Furthermore, Zverev did not compete in the year-end tour finals last season, something that he might do this season.

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Besides a title to defend in St. Petersburg, Zverev has little else to defend from this point onward in the calendar year.

When one looks at the players ranked above Zverev, Djokovic will continue to fall in the rankings. Meanwhile, the talk surrounding Murray is that his hip is bugging him still. With Zverev having a lot to gain and others having something to do, the German may yet finish the 2017 season in the top five on the ATP Tour.

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He's the front runner for the NextGen tour finals, but he also projects for the real tour finals this season as well.

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