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Crosscourt Shots — October 26, 2016

By Kami Mattioli

Each week we'll be highlighting what's trending in the tennis world — both on and off the court — that you might have missed this week.

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RESURGENT

For the first time in nearly three years, Juan Martin del Potro finds himself back among the top 50 men in the world. The Argentinean is No. 42 in the latest ATP rankings released Monday in the wake of his title win at the Stockholm Open.

His re-entry into the top 50 is a far cry from the 1,045th-place ranking he assumed when he returned to the tour in February.

"I've been trying to fix my problems for the past two years and I didn't expect to win a title at this moment in my career," he told BBC after beating American Jack Sock in straight sets. "I don't really mind the rankings or the numbers. I just want to play better. When I'm 100 percent, I know I can be dangerous."

Del Potro missed nearly all of the 2014 and 2015 seasons while beleaguered by wrist injuries that ultimately required surgery.

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IMPROMPTU HAIRCUT

When the going gets tough, the tough get a haircut… or at least that’s what happened to Svetlana Kuznetsova in Tuesday’s match against Agnieszka Radwanska.

Trailing 1-2 in the third set, Kuznetsova asked the official for a break. Instead of resting, she grabbed a pair of scissors and began to chop off her braided ponytail during the breather.

“Every time I would hit a good shot, it would hit my eye every time and I had [to] struggle,” she explained to reporters after battling back to defeat Radwanska, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5. “I thought, ‘OK, what’s more important now, my hair, which I can let grow, or the match?’ I thought, ‘OK, I got to go for it right now’, and that’s it.”

(Photo credit: Jaime Reina/AFP/Getty Images)

PAVING THE WAY

Last week Rafael Nadal returned to his hometown of Mallorca, Spain, to inaugurate his first tennis academy in the small Mediterranean town. Longtime friend and occasional foe Roger Federer joined the Spaniard in the academy’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, where Nadal presented him with a framed poster of the greatest moments in their combined history.

“If you look at this academy, you can see that it is something special where he, his family and friends have been very involved. His work ethic is right there at the top and he can share his values and experience with the kids,” said Federer of Nadal's undertaking.

Nadal’s uncle and long-time coach, Toni, will manage the day-to-day operations of the academy alongside Carlos Costa, his agent. Nadal alluded that there may be another academy on the way in the future but Mallorca’s will always be first and nearest to his heart.

"It's where I live, where I'm going to live, and it's the only chance to really be involved with the project. Having the academy here, I'm here every day so I can see, I can be close to the kids, I can be close to the coaches. I can really enjoy all the process.”