Two normal months then … the coronavirus. In tennis as elsewhere, this year 2020 will have been profoundly shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic. It first imposed a complete stop of the calendar for more than five months, before a resumption of forced march in the heart of summer, in mid-August. Somehow, the season has managed to come to an end and it is almost a miracle that the year was able to end with the holding of three of the four Grand Slam tournaments, the ATP Finals in London and three Masters 1000, the tournament category most affected by the health crisis.
Reading the ATP ranking at the end of this funny campaign is not easy. The official hierarchy is also far from corresponding to the reality of the debates. The reason ? The freezing of points for certain tournaments played in 2019 so as not to penalize players who have signed a significant result without being able to defend their points a year later. For example, all players will thus retain until July 2021 the benefit of the points gleaned at Wimbledon in … 2019.
Medvedev very close to Nadal
As a result, Roger Federer, who has played only one tournament this year, is still in 5th place in the official ranking. A form of aberration, since the Swiss, on the sole basis of the results of the season which ended on Sunday evening, totaled only 720 points, those acquired thanks to his semi-final at the Australian Open in the month January. Its real 2020 ranking? 29th. Matteo Berrettini is the other big winner of this protection. The Italian, who has roamed the courts like a ghost this season, has saved his place in the Top 10 despite not even making the top 30 in 2020.
But some things don’t change. Novak Djokovic, world number one in the benchmark ranking, is also the player with the best accounting record with 6855 points, according to the count made by Constance Sénac de Monsembernard, at the head of the Twitter account “Game, Set and Math”. The official podium is the same as for 2020, but in a different order. Behind the Serbian, it is Dominic Thiem, winner of the US Open, finalist of the Australian Open and of the Masters, who is ahead of the winner of Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal, himself closely followed by Daniil Medvedev.
Humbert just in front of Monfils
The big losers are those who shone much more in 2020 than in 2019 and for whom the freezing of points has proved to be penalizing. Among them, Milos Raonic and Pablo Carreno Busta, respectively 9th and 10th in the 2020 hierarchy, but who only appear in 14th and 17th places in the ATP ranking. Ditto for young shoots that have exploded or crossed a milestone in recent months, such as the Norwegian Casper Rudd, current 27th in the world, but at the gates of the top ten (11th), or the Italian Jannik Sinner (20th over the year but only 37th in the benchmark classification).
On the French side, Gaël Monfils, thanks to his big start to 2020 (more than 1000 points garnered in January and February) and the maintenance of his big 2019 results as his quarter-final at the US Open, remains officially number one tricolor. He is in 11th place. Five notches above its “real” 2020 ranking. With 1165 points, the Monf ‘is ahead of five small points by a certain Ugo Humbert. The Lorrainer (15th in 2020, 30th at ATP) is also penalized by the current system. It remains to be hoped that the 2021 calendar can go off without a hitch. In which case, over the months, the ATP ranking will return to agreement with the field.
Ugo Humbert at the Rolex Paris Masters in 2020
Credit: Getty Images
The 2020 ranking
|1. Novak Djokovic||Serbia||6855|
|2. Dominic Thiem||Austria||4615|
|3. Rafael Nadal||Spain||4050|
|4. Daniil Medvedev||Russia||4025|
|5. Alexander Zverev||Germany||3455|
|6. Andrey Rublev||Russia||3425|
|7. Stefanos Tsitsipas||Greece||2495|
|8. Diego Schwartzman||Argentine||2220|
|9. Milos Raonic||Canada||1725|
|10. Pablo Carreno Busta||Spain||1710|
|11. Casper Ruud||Norway||1280|
|12. Denis Shapovalov||Canada||1260|
|13. Christian Garin||Chili||1220|
|14. Felix Auger-Aliassime||Canada||1175|
|15. Ugo Humbert||France||1170|
|16. Gaël Monfils||France||1165|
|17. Roberto Bautista Agut||Spain||1150|
|18. Borna Coric||Croatia||1115|
|19. Stan Wawrinka||Suisse||1060|
|20. Jannik Sinner||Italy||1030|