Novak Djokovic has begun his mission to reclaim the No. 1 ranking in style, earning 660 points for guiding Serbia to a thrilling ATP Cup victory over Rafael Nadal and Spain.
Determined to take back top spot in the ATP rankings after relinquishing the No. 1 place towards the end of last season to Nadal, Djokovic was instrumental in leading Serbia to ATP Cup glory, winning all six of his singles matches and also teaming up with Viktor Troicki to win the decisive doubles rubber against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez late on Sunday night.
“I’ll remember this experience for the rest of my life as definitely one of the nicest moments in my career,” Djokovic said.
“I’ve been very fortunate and blessed to have an amazing career the last 15 years, but playing for the team, playing for the country with some of my best friends for a long long time, you can’t match that. That’s just too special.”
Djokovic’s 660 ranking points means he closes the gap to Nadal at No. 1 to just 520 points, however he himself can’t accumulate any more points in January after winning the Australian Open for a record seventh time last season.
However, he still has a chance to usurp Nadal by the end of the Australian Open if he goes deep again and the Spaniard loses early.
There were plenty of other ranking movements after the ATP Cup – Daniil Medvedev, who won four of his matches and lost to Djokovic in a gruelling three-setter in the semi-finals, leapfrogs Dominic Thiem in a significant move that sees the Russian claim the No. 4 seeding for the Australian Open. Thiem only won one of his singles matches for Austria.
Meanwhile, Roberto Bautista Agut was also triumphant in all six of his singles matches, replicating Djokovic, however became he faced lower-ranked opposition as the No. 2 ranked player for his country, he only received 295 points. That was enough to propel the Spaniard one spot in the latest rankings to his career-high ranking of No. 9.
Denis Shapovalov impressed against strong opposition, beating top 10 stars Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, with the Canadian rising one place to a career-high No. 13, while Serbia’s No. 2 Dusan Lajovic was also rewarded for his brilliant form throughout the ATP Cup, climbing seven rungs on the rankings ladder to No. 27.
Dan Evans of Great Britain and Casper Ruud of Norway were also big movers within the top 50 after great displays in the ATP Cup, with Evans rising nine spots to a career-high No. 33 and Ruud moving up seven places to No. 46.
Elsewhere, there was still a traditional ATP tournament going on in Doha during the first week of the season, and it was Andrey Rublev who took the silverware, beating French youngster Corentin Moutet in straight sets in the final.
Rublev, who was frustrated at his inability to compete for Russia at the ATP Cup as the No. 3 ranked singles player behind Medvedev and Karen Khachanov, put together a superb week to capture his third ATP title and launch 2020 with a bang.
“It’s amazing. I’m always really happy to play here. I always enjoy my time here and to finally win the title is something special for me,” Rublev said. “It’s an amazing start to the season for me and I hope I can keep this level.”
Rublev vaults five places in the rankings to break into the world’s top 20 for the first time, settling at a career-high No. 18.
All of the top 10 will now use this week as a training block ahead of the Australian Open, however there are still some big names competing this week. Fabio Fognini, Denis Shapovalov and Karen Khachanov lead the field at the 250 event in Auckland, while Rublev, Alex de Minaur and Felix Auger-Aliassime are playing in Adelaide.
Latest ATP Top 20 Rankings, Monday January 13, 2020
1. Rafael Nadal ??
2. Novak Djokovic ??
3. Roger Federer ??
4. Daniil Medvedev ?? (+1)
5. Dominic Thiem ?? (-1)
6. Stefanos Tsitsipas ??
7. Alexander Zverev ??
8. Matteo Berrettini ??
9. Roberto Bautista Agut ?? (+1)
10. Gael Monfils ?? (-1)
11. David Goffin ??
12. Fabio Fognini ??
13. Denis Shapovalov ?? (+1)
14. Diego Schwartzman ?? (-1)
15. Stan Wawrinka ??
16. Karen Khachanov ??(+1)
17. Kei Nishikori ?? (-1)
18. Andrey Rublev ?? (+5)
19. Grigor Dimitrov ?? (+1)
20. John Isner ?? (-1)
Significant movers in the top 100
Dusan Lajovic ?? (+ 7 to No. 27)
Dan Evans ?? (+ 9 to No. 33)
Casper Ruud ?? (+ 7 to No. 46)
Miomir Kecmanovic ?? (No. 9 to No. 53)
Cameron Norrie ?? (-10 to No. 62)
Corentin Moutet ?? (+11 to No. 70)
Stefano Travaglia ?? (+7 to No. 75)
Andreas Seppi ?? (-13 to No. 84)
Yuichi Sugita ?? (+11 to No. 89)
Dennis Novak ?? (+6 to No. 99)
Leonardo Mayer ?? (-12 to No. 100)