Murray climbs 457 places despite Citi Open pullout

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Andy Murray. [file photo]

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray climbed 457 places in the ATP world rankings yesterday, despite withdrawing from the Citi Open before his quarterfinal last week.

The former world No. 1 is now ranked 375 as he continues his comeback from an 11-month injury layoff.

Murray also pulled out of the Rogers Cup in Toronto, though, after winning his last-16 match in Washington DC at 3am

Alexander Zverev remained world No. 3 by successfully defending his Washington title with a win over Alex de Minaur, while fourth-ranked Juan Martin del Potro was beaten in the Los Cabos final by Fabio Fognini, who jumped a spot to 14th.

Meanwhile, Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu continued her remarkable rise by breaking into the WTA top 20 for the first time after winning her maiden Tour title at the Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose.

The 30-year-old left-hander was ranked outside the top 500 at the last start of last season, but beat Greek Maria Sakkari 6-1, 6-0 on Sunday after losing her first two WTA Tour finals earlier this year in Hobart and Prague.

Her compatriot and French Open champion Simona Halep maintained her healthy lead as world No. 1, while 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams stayed 26th after her embarrassing 1-6, 0-6 loss to Johanna Konta in the San Jose first round.

In Washington DC, Zverev said defending his Citi Open title showed growth in strength and maturity, but the world No. 3 still saw a big gap to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

The 21-year-old German won his third title of the year and the ninth of his career by defeating Australian de Minaur 6-2, 6-4 in the 50th edition of the US Open tuneup event.

"What a fantastic week for me," Zverev said. "Winning a tournament on its 50th anniversary is something amazing. This has been a very special week for me. (Defending a title) feels great and shows mental strength as well. It shows a little maturity I think."

While Zverev stands atop a generation of rising young stars, he still puts 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer, 36, and 17-time Grand Slam champion Nadal, 32, on the highest of pedestals.

"Roger and Rafa are still the best out there and still competing for Grand Slam titles," he said. "I haven't won a Grand Slam title. Saying I'm on their level wouldn't be fair to them."

In the women's final, two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova saved four match points and rallied to defeat Croatia's Donna Vekic 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2 for her 18th career title.

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