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What a fortnight of tennis we have just witnessed! The 2023 Australian Open was a truly thrilling event, and in my opinion, it definitely lived up to the hype. We were treated to drama, triumph, despair, and many other things within the space of just 14 days. Of course, it was Novak Djokovic who took the crown in Melbourne, securing his 10th Australian Open title.
Subsequently, he has equaled Rafael Nadal on 22 Grand Slams, and many now feel that it is only a matter of time until he surpasses his greatest rival. Only time will tell whether this comes to fruition or not. Yet besides the importance of Djokovic claiming this tournament in terms of the GOAT debate, it also put him back at the top of the ATP rankings. When you consider that he didn’t play in the 2022 US Open, combined with the fact that he received zero points for winning Wimbledon, this is pretty remarkable.
However, it wasn’t just a great two weeks for Djokovic. Many other guys performed far better than they probably thought they would before the tournament started. And those who performed well, combined with those who performed below their expectations, have paved the way for the ATP rankings adjustments shown below.
ATP Rankings Updates – Week Commencing January 30th
Keep in mind that the ATP rankings updates reflected this week are a result of two weeks of tennis. This makes the adjustments more significant than we usually see on a week-to-week basis. Of course, the updates are also more extreme because the Australian Open is a Grand Slam event too. This is the highest tier of professional tennis, meaning that it has the most points up for grabs.
So with that said, let me start these ATP rankings updates by running through the more successful players.
The Week’s Biggest Climbers – A Great Run for Paul, Djokovic, and Khacahanov
Before I actually talk about the three guys mentioned, I feel I need to pay tribute to a couple of guys who had a truly remarkable fortnight. As you may recall, the young American, Ben Shelton made the quarter-finals of the Australian Open this year. This run earns him the title of ‘climber of the week’ as far as the ATP top 100 goes. Subsequently, Shelton has gone from 89 in the rankings to number 44 – a jump of 45 places!
The only other player who came close to such a rise is Jiri Lehecka, who went up from 71 in the rankings to 39 thanks to his run to the quarter-finals. This shows a jump of 32 places, which is also remarkable. And with those guys mentioned, let me get back to the guys at the higher end of the scale. As you have already seen, Novak Djokovic reclaimed the top spot as the ATP’s number 1 due to his tournament victory. Yet this was only a rise of 4 places. Still, a rise of 4 spots when you’re inside the top 10 is obviously a big shift.
Behind Djokovic, it’s great to see that Karen Khachanov is showing what he is capable of at the moment. The Russian made the semi-finals of the Australian Open, jumping to number 13 (up 7 spots). And finally, another American in the form of Tommy Paul enjoyed a phenomenal tournament too. Paul made the 2nd round in 2022, yet he made the semi-finals this year.
Clearly, he is improving at a rapid rate, and this result has seen him leap up the rankings by 16 places to number 19.
The Week’s Biggest Fallers – A Terrible Run For Nadal, Berrettini, and Karatsev
I should probably start by talking about Rafael Nadal since there are many question marks over the great Spaniard right now. Last year’s Australian Open winner fell in the second round to America’s McDonald, meaning that he lost 1,955 points during this recent update. Of course, that’s a catastrophic point loss, and it resulted in Nadal falling from number 2 to number 6 this week. Sure, he suffered another bad injury on the court, but the rankings updates don’t take this into account.
Apart from Nadal, it wasn’t a great run for Matteo Berrettini either. The big-hitting Italian made the semi-finals of the 2022 Australian Open, but he lost to Andy Murray in the opening round this year. This meant that Berrettini lost 710 points over the last two weeks, resulting in a drop of 8 spaces to number 22. And finally, as we look toward the lower end of the ATP’s top 100, we see that Aslan Karatsev has fallen by 16 places to number 98.
That’s because he lost in the first round to Grigor Dimitrov, and the Russian is now very close to dropping out of the world’s top 100. For me, that’s an even bigger shame when you consider that it was the Australian Open that catapulted Karatsev into the spotlight in the first place. Of course, that was when he made the semi-finals back in 2021.
Top Rankings Stories – Djokovic Claims 1, 10, and 22
With Novak Djokovic reclaiming the throne over the last two weeks, how could I not talk about this as the top story? Prior to the start of the tournament, there were four guys who could take the number 1 ranking due to Alcaraz’s absence. And when the final came to fruition, both Djokovic and Tsitsipas could take the top spot by securing the win. Ultimately, it was Djokovic who prevailed over his Greek opponent, and he is officially back to number 1.
Yet there are more numbers to highlight regarding the great Serbian. In winning the Australian Open crown this year, he took his 10th title in Melbourne. This is a simply incredible achievement, and many compare the challenge of beating Djokovic in Australia with the challenge of beating Nadal in Paris – quite a compliment, to say the least. Then again, with 10 titles, it’s clear that the man is almost invincible in Australia.
And of course, the final number is 22. This is now the number of Grand Slams that Novak Djokovic has won during his career, and it’s crazy to think that he still has a good few seasons left in him. So who really knows how many slams this guy will end up with?