ATP 250 events in Houston and Marrakech are behind us and with the first clay-court Masters 1000 tournament kicking off on Sunday in Monte Carlo there were no significant changes on the list, with no new players in the top-20.
Novak Djokovic spends the 247th week on the ATP throne and will stay there during the entire clay season, having 2345 more than Rafael Nadal who has to defend 1000 points in Monte Carlo this week. With Novak in the draw, that will not be easy and we should expect the clash between the best players in the world in the title match, especially if Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem fail to deliver their best tennis.
Chasing form and wins, Zverev competed in Marrakech last week but he suffered the second round loss to Jaume Munar, entering Monte Carlo eager to finally deliver some good tennis in 2019 and fight for the title, the first since the ATP Finals in November.
The young German is 2700 points behind Rafa and almost 500 ahead of Roger Federer who will skip all the action in April and return in Madrid, playing the first ATP event on clay since Rome 2016. Dominic Thiem lost to Nadal in the quarter-final of Monte Carlo a year ago and he should go for a better result this week, gaining confidence at Indian Wells where he grabbed the first Masters 1000 crown.
Kei Nishikori and Stefanos Tsitsipas complete the top-10 line-up in the Principality, with Kevin Anderson, Juan Martin del Potro and John Isner all skipping the first Masters 1000 event of the season on clay. The rest of the top-20 field is in Monte Carlo, chasing big points and hoping to spoil the party for the favorites and make the tournament more exciting.
Marrakech and Houston champions Benoit Paire and Christian Garin have both gained 26 positions on the list, with the Chilean cracking the top-50 for the first time in a career. Steve Johnson failed to defend the title in Houston and he is out from the top-55 for the first time since June 2015. ATP rankings