Novak Djokovic has returned to World No. 1 after winning a record-extending eighth Australian Open title on Sunday night.
Although far from his best, Djokovic managed to outlast fifth seed Dominic Thiem in four hours, coming back from two-sets-to-one down to prevail by a 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 scoreline.
Djokovic secured the 17th Grand Slam title of his illustrious career, elevating him to within two slams of Rafael Nadal and three of Roger Federer, who holds the record with 20.
The ‘Big Three’ have combined to win the last 13 major titles, which is the second longest streak in their history, while they’ve also taken home 56 of the past 67.
Djokovic successfully defended his Australian Open title, adding an eighth title from down under into his trophy cabinet.
“Grand Slams are one of the main reasons why I am still competing and still playing a full season, trying to obviously get the historic No. 1. That’s the other big goal. I put myself in this position that is really good at the moment. I’m super happy with the way I started the season. It kind of sets the tone for the rest of the year,” Djokovic said.
Speaking of historic No. 1, Djokovic returns to the top spot courtesy of his victory and Nadal bowing out in the quarter-finals.
It will be Djokovic’s fifth stint as World No. 1, and should he maintain the top position throughout the entire season, he’s projected to pass Pete Sampras (286 weeks) on April 20 and Federer (310 weeks) on October 5. Djokovic begins his 276th week today and only has 135 points to defend until the start of the clay season.
Meanwhile, Thiem climbs back to No. 4 after reaching his first hardcourt slam final. The Austrian beat Nadal and sevenths seed Alexander Zverev and continues to make considerable strides on hardcourt after winning Indian Wells, Vienna and Beijing last year, along with finishing runner-up at the ATP Finals.
Thiem has won seven of his last 11 matches against the Big Three and remains the man most likely to break the stranglehold the three legends have on the slams.
In other ranking movements, Roberto Bautista Agut falls three spots to No. 12 after failing to defend his quarter-final points, allowing David Goffin to return to the top 10.
Andrey Rublev hits a career-high ranking of No. 15 after making the fourth round, while Nick Kyrgios is back in the top 20, rising six places to No. 20.
Tennys Sandgren, who wasted seven match points against Federer in the quarter-finals, enjoys a big rankings boost, climbing 44 spots to No. 56, while last year’s semi-finalist Lucas Pouille falls 38 rungs to No. 62 after injury caused him to miss the Australian Open.
Three ATP tournaments take place this week, with Monfils, Goffin and Denis Shapovalov leading the field in Montpellier, Diego Schwartzman headlining the draw in Cordoba and Benoit Paire taking charge in Pune.
Latest ATP Rankings, Monday February 3
1. ?? Novak Djokovic (+1)
2. ?? Rafael Nadal (-1)
3. ?? Roger Federer
4. ?? Dominic Thiem (+1)
5. ?? Daniil Medvedev (-1)
6. ?? Stefanos Tsitsipas
7. ?? Alexander Zverev
8. ?? Matteo Berrettini
9. ?? Gael Monfils (+1)
10. ?? David Goffin (+1)
11. ?? Fabio Fognini (+1)
12. ?? Roberto Bautista Agut (-3)
13. ?? Stan Wawrinka (+2)
14. ?? Diego Schwartzman
15. ?? Andrey Rublev (+1)
16. ?? Denis Shapovalov (-3)
17. ?? Karen Khachanov
18. ?? John Isner (+1)
19. ?? Benoit Paire (+2)
20. ?? Nick Kyrgios (+6)
Notable Top 100 Ranking Movements This Week
26. ?? Kei Nishikori (-8)
31. ?? Cristian Garin (+5)
53. ?? Marton Fucsovics (+14)
56. ?? Tennys Sandgren (+44)
62. ?? Lucas Pouille (-38)
70. ?? Tommy Paul (+10)
79. ?? Frances Tiafoe (-29)