The ATP has clarified all doubts regarding the rankings. From now on and once the action returns on the circuit, the players will not be forced to defend what has been achieved in these months of last year. If for health or safety reasons they decide not to travel to the United States, they will have the right to do so and will compute the points obtained in the 2019 tournaments. If their results improve, those will be the points that go to the classification. In short, the 18 best results over the last 22 months. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
Beyond agreeing more or less with these measures, it does seem like a kind of Solomonic decision that tries to make peace with almost the entire bulk of the circuit. A meeting point where it is difficult to see big losers, and from which many players can benefit. At the end of the day, when your ranking can only add up and it is impossible for points to be deducted, the benefits are unmatched, right? Anyway, let’s take a look at the ranking and let’s see to what extent there are players who will be more or less happy with this measure.
– Main beneficiaries: Within the aristocracy of the ranking, it could be said that there are three players who, for different reasons, can be very satisfied with the decision made by the ATP. The first of them, and perhaps the most, is undoubtedly Roger Federer. As current number # 4 in the world and with 6,630 points in his locker, the Swiss will keep exactly the same ranking from here to the end of the season.
In other circumstances, the most relapsed injury suffered by the Basel player would practically mean an early departure from the top-10, and who knows where it might end up. With this new system in which the Swiss will be able to save their 2019 results, which include very valuable points such as the Wimbledon finale, the title in Halle or the title in Basel, your place in the ranking will be determined by everything added by your pursuers. With everything that names like Medvedev or Tsitsipas already accumulated in 2019 … their position among the best seems relatively insured.
Followers of Novak Djokovic, but the decision made by the ATP also leaves the Serb in a very good position to secure number 1 facing the end of the season. The best news, in fact, is that in August the rankings will no longer be officially frozen and the weeks at the top they will count again facing the historical record. Taking that into account, the Serbian has a lot of margin to gain ground: in addition to maintaining 2,000 points for his title at Wimbledon, has possibilities to improve its performance in 2019 in the Us Open (round of 16), Cincinnati and Roland Garros (semifinals) and the ATP Finals (group stage).
The other top-5 member who is among the big beneficiaries is Dominic Thiem. The Austrian is in a similar situation to that of Djokovic: he will not lose the points of 2019, and also, there comes a period of the season where he has a good chance of improving his locker. After falling into first round of the Us Open, the New York Grand Slam seems capital for a Dominic who would distance himself widely from Federer and prop up his position in the top-3. Not only that: Rome (where he fell in 2019 in his first game) and Cincinnati (who did not play) are two other places that the Austrian could use to make a huge jump.
– Beneficiaries, dry: All the players who had the titanic task of defending many points in this complicated skein of tournaments can also hit the teeth. Although it will be very difficult for them to score points in the ranking, the fact of safeguarding what was achieved in 2019 gives them an inescapable mattress and can even make them think to what extent it is profitable to play these tournaments.
Of course Rafael Nadal is the largest exponent of this group. The manacorí will keep its 4,000 points distributed in the crowns of Roland Garros and Us Open, which is a really great relief for someone who still does not see clearly about traveling to the United States in the midst of a pandemic. Of course, if you want to have options to snatch Djokovic number 1, it seems practically necessary that you play tournaments like Washington or Cincinnati, where you have more margin to add.
On the other hand, Daniil Medvedev He is the other player who fits the description of this group perfectly. However, the Russian rose to stardom in August 2019, where he chained a streak of spectacular results spread across the American continent (finals in Washington, Canada and New York, in addition to the title in Cincinnati). After a hesitant start to 2020, the Russian does not have to worry: those points will not be subtracted and will remain in his ranking, a tremendous slab to discount and that can even give him confidence to face a ground tour in which I would have nothing to lose (beyond, perhaps, a semi-final in Monte Carlo).
– The injured: As I said at the beginning, it is difficult to target disadvantaged in a system in which no one will discount points from their ranking until the end of the year. It is precisely in the medium term that we have to look to realize that, yes, there are probably players who, after a few months, will regret the decision made by the ATP.
This is basically the case of players who made a spectacular start to the season, with a position in the Race significantly higher than that of the ranking. The Race is no longer good for anything, it has disappeared from any tangible count and the ranking will be the scale used to determine, for example, who travels to the ATP Finals held in November.
So, Cristian Garín, who was sixth in the 2020 Race, sets his sights again on the position # 18 that marks your ranking. If the Chilean had hopes of playing in the tournament that puts an end to the season, they have diminished considerably; You should make a titanic effort when, to this day, you were in a clear position to obtain your passage. The other great victim is Andrey Rublev, fifth in the Race and # 14 in the ranking, and even to a lesser extent Gaël MonfilsAlthough he is in the top-10 and probably does not give much importance to the dispute of this tournament, he sees how his great start to 2020 (he was ranked as the third best tennis player of the year) has been largely canceled.
And you do you think? Who benefits and who suffers from this change? Do you agree with the analysis?