Taiwan’s No. 1 tennis player Lu Yen-hsun has risen to the highest singles ranking of his career after picking up 25 ranking points for reaching the second round of last week’s Sony Ericsson Open.
Lu moved up six places to 55th in the world in the most recent rankings released by the ATP Tour, two places higher than his previous high of 57.
He remained the top-ranked Asian player ahead of Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt (88), Japan’s Kei Nishikori (93) and Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin (99).
Lu’s ranking could fall in the next two months, however, especially if he plays top ATP clay court events leading up to the French Open, which begins on May 25.
The 25-year-old, who has never been an accomplished clay court player, has to defend 368 of his 1,166 ranking points by May 25, points that he won mostly in lower tier Challenger Tour events last year.
Those points will be lost if he does not earn a similar tally in upcoming tournaments, an unlikely scenario on clay.
Lu will participate in the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters if he gets a direct entry into the main draw and then will play in the Barcelona Open, which starts on April 20. Both are clay court events.
Taiwan’s Yi Chu-huan, who has been saddled with injuries over the past two years, also made a big move in the rankings this week, climbing to 584th in the world from his previous ranking of 690 after reaching the finals of a Futures event in Japan at the end of last month.