Things were crystal clear at the top of the ATP standings ahead of the first Major of the season in Melbourne, with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic fighting for the ATP throne at the Australian Open. The last year's finalists were way in front of their rivals and they have remained there after Melbourne, although not in the same order!
Rafael Nadal had to reach the semis to stay ahead of Novak Djokovic but that didn't happen, falling to Dominic Thiem after a tight quarter-final clash and allowing Novak to set eyes on world no. 1 spot for the rest of the event.
The Serb went all the way to grab his eighth Australian Open trophy, defending 2000 points and passing the Spaniard for his fifth reign on the ATP throne. Novak is now 325 points clear of Rafa, entering his 276th week as world no.
1 and moving just ten behind Pete Sampras in the second place of the list. The 17-time Major champion has only 315 points to defend until Madrid in May, looking good to stay at the top for many months if he wins more points than the Spaniard at Indian Wells and Miami.
Djokovic and Nadal will take well-deserved rest before Dubai and Acapulco, chasing 500 points ahead of the first Masters 1000 events of the season. Roger Federer gained points in Melbourne after reaching the semis but he is still more than 2000 points behind Nadal, barely staying in the top-3 ahead of Dominic Thiem who grabbed 1200 points in Melbourne after reaching the final.
Thiem gave his best against Djokovic in his first final in Melbourne, losing in five sets but managing to pass Daniil Medvedev, standing more than 1000 points clear ahead of the Russian. Stefanos Tsitsipas remained sixth despite an early loss in Melbourne, keeping the distance ahead of the semi-finalist Alexander Zverev who achieved the best result at Majors.
Zverev is almost 1000 points ahead of Matteo Berrettini, with Gael Monfils and David Goffin closing the top-10 company following the first Major of the season. Roberto Bautista Agut lost three paces to drop out from the elite group, with a former champion Stan Wawrinka gaining two positions to stand 13th.
Andrey Rublev is in the top-15 for the first time, with John Isner, Benoit Paire and Nick Kyrgios also making progress after the Australian Open to stand in the top-20. The quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren moved ahead of 44 rivals to return into the top-60, missing a great chance of gathering even more points after wasting those seven match points against Roger Federer. ATP Rankings