No change in the Top 10 of the ATP world rankings, which always sees Novak Djokovic in command. Returning to the top after his eighth title in Melbourne in January of last year (the Down Under trophies for him became nine with the triumph at the end of February), the 33-year-old Serbian is in the 310th week overall as number one, thus equaling Roger Federer's record.
Federer, leader in the all-time ranking of weeks at the top - closing the year in the first chair for the sixth time Nole had already equaled the primacy of Pete Sampras. The Belgrade player, who first became world number 1 on 4 July 2011 and in his fifth period at the top of the ATP rankings, is sure to overtake the Basel champion on 8 March.
On the second chair, always 2180 points behind Nole, there is Rafael Nadal, in turn the protagonist of a record streak for the men's rankings, having been in the top ten for 806 consecutive weeks. On the third step of the podium the Russian Daniil Medvedev (his best ranking), with the Austrian Dominic Thiem in 4th place.
On the fifth chair is Roger Federer (expected to return to Doha next week after double surgery on his right knee in 2020), with only 35 points of margin on the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. Then in seventh place the German Alexander Zverev, followed by the Russian Andrey Rublev, the Argentine Diego Schwartzman and Matteo Berrettini, who closes the top ten where he entered in November 2019 but with the same score as the South American: there are 570 points of margin of the 24 year old from Rome on the Canadian Denis Shapovalov.
Novak Djokovic has been one of the most dominant forces in tennis for the last 10 years. But even then, the media and certain members of the tennis fraternity habitually resort to subjecting him to extreme criticism, often over negligible topics.
To understand this situation better, tennis historian and author Steve Flink reiterated his stand on the Serbian.
Flink compares Djokovic’s tear with Rafa’s back
Steve Flink said, “It really baffles me that this goes on and on with the excessive criticism of Novak Djokovic… The scrutiny that he gets is not extended to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and other players, they get the benefit of the doubt”.
Moreover, the American gave the example of Rafael Nadal and his back injury. The Spaniard has been suffering from a back injury, due to which he couldn’t play the ATP Cup. “Did you hear anybody saying after the first four rounds ‘what’s all this nonsense with Rafa’s back?’ And no, and they shouldn’t be saying it.
But the skepticism doesn’t extend to these other guys,” Flink added. “What he’s been in the last ten years is nothing short of the ultimate professional… It’s a shame that people will never seem to cut him any slack,” Steve concluded.