Brad Gilbert: 'Roger Federer's fans will get upset but I think Novak Djokovic..'



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Brad Gilbert: 'Roger Federer's fans will get upset but I think Novak Djokovic..'

Novak Djokovic has been the player to beat so far in 2020, scoring 18 victories from as many matches and standing miles in front of all the rivals on the ATP Race list. Novak led Serbia towards the inaugural ATP Cup crown, beating Rafael Nadal in the final and earning more than 650 points to reduce the deficit to the Spaniard ahead of the Australian Open.

There, the Serb claimed seven victories to defend the title and 2000 points, beating Dominic Thiem in five epic sets to move in front of Nadal and become world no. 1 again. Nadal and Djokovic claimed the titles in the same weekend in Acapulco and Dubai, staying neck and neck ahead of the potential no.

1 battle in Indian Wells and Miami. The coronavirus pandemic had other plans, though, shutting down at least 13 ATP tournaments and halting the action until June, although it is unlikely we will see any matches on grass this summer.

The ATP had to react and do something with the ranking list, deciding to freeze it at least until June 10 and keep everything as it was on March 9, with the results from Indian Wells 2019 also included. The leading organization of the men's tennis will have to think about the next moves if the tournaments don't start soon, and to clarify what will happen with the frozen weeks.

As we all know, Novak Djokovic is on a solid course of becoming the players with most weeks as world no. 1, currently standing on 281 or 282 and setting eyes on Roger Federer's record of 310. At the moment, the ATP doesn't recognize these weeks to Novak's tally, a move that has raised controversy among the fans and experts, with Brad Gilbert who thinks Novak should get those weeks from the halted period as he earned them on the court.

"Federer fans will get upset," Brad Gilbert said, "but I think Djokovic should get credit for those weeks while the rankings are frozen with him at No. 1. He earned those points and was going to be No. 1 for a while, even if things went on as normal.

Going into Indian Wells, Djokovic was going to stay No. 1 by the end, unless he lost before the semis and Rafa won the tournament. That didn't play out, and Djokovic is still No. 1. If you start dropping points as the weeks go on the way the system works, Djokovic will keep the top ranking for a long time, probably until at least until his Wimbledon points drop off.

I don't know who the system will help or what it's going to be when we resume play but I think we're not just going to jump back into the status quo."