For the first time since … exactly a year ago at this time, Rafael Nadal returns to the No. 1 spot in the rankings.
The points for the 2018 ATP Tour Final – the 2019 edition only begins in a week – are removed on this Monday.
And Novak Djokovic (who earned 1,000 points by going undefeated in the round-robin portion and reaching the finals) drops 600 points.
Nadal (who didn’t play in London a year ago), adds the 360 points from his semifinal effort in Paris.
Nadal’s abdominal injury, suffered in his pre-semis hit before he was to face Denis Shapovalov Saturday, meant that he couldn’t maximize the gap between himself and Djokovic as they head to London.
He has a 640 point lead going in. Here’s the chart of how many points the players can earn.
So the math is fairly simple.
640. C'est le nombre de points qui séparent @RafaelNadal de @DjokerNole au classement #ATP à l'aube du Masters. Ci-dessous, les différents scénarios pour la première place mondiale. #ATPFinals #HomeOfTennis pic.twitter.com/QKBbQLKaXy
— Jeu, Set et Maths (@JeuSetMaths) November 3, 2019
ON THE UPSWING
Rafael Nadal (ESP): No. 2 ========> No. 1 (As he heads into the ATP Tour Finals, he’s in good shape to finish the season at No. 1 even if the abdominal issue that forced his withdrawal from Paris is a concern).
Matteo Berrettini (ITA): No. 9 ========> No. 8 (Another career high for Berrettini, who qualifies for London in the final week, and whose path in 2020 will be very interesting to watch).
Gaël Monfils (FRA): No. 13 ========> No. 10 (He had one match to win, against Shapovalov, to qualify for London. And he did not come up aces – to say the least. Still, he returns to the top 10 for the first time since Feb. 2017).
David Goffin (BEL): No. 14 ========> No. 11 (He would have hoped for better than a third-round result in Paris. But despite only gaining 10 net points, he leaps up three spots).
Denis Shapovalov (CAN): No. 28 ========> No. 15 (A season that began well, saw a dip in the middle butends on fire puts the 20-year-old Canadian at a career high (his previous high was No. 20) and also makes him the Canadian No. 1 once again. He is skipping the Next Gen Finals, but will be on board for the Davis Cup finals in a few weeks).
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL): No. 27 ========> No. 20 (A run to the semis in Paris means the Bulgarian can finish the year in the top 20. He was at … No. 78 before this year’s US Open. It is the first time since Dec. 31 last year that Dimitrov is in the top 20. We feel like it’s the power of the bandanna).
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA): No. 35 ========> No. 29 (The Frenchman came back from a long, long way in 2019, and has put himself into position to be seeded in Australia).
Cristian Garin (CHI): No. 42 ========> No. 34 (He has a shot an Oz Open seed, after wrapping up his season with a quarter-final effort in Paris).
Jeremy Chardy (FRA): No. 65 ========> No. 52 (The Frenchman won’t get back into the top 50 to finish the season. But he’s not far).
Casper Ruud (NOR): No. 63 ========> No. 56 (Just two off his career high to finish the season after qualifying in Paris. He’ll wrap it up at the Next Gen Finals).
Kyle Edmund (GBR): No. 75 ========> No. 68 (All in all, a season to forget although he can wrap it up with some good feels at the Davis Cup Finals).
Brayden Schnur (CAN): No. 99 ========> No. 93 (Schnur hasn’t locked down a year-end top-100 spot or a place in the Australian Open main draw yet. But he could well do it in the next couple of weeks).
Jiri Vesely (CZE): No. 119 ========> No. 104 (Vesely helped his case for Australia by winning the Eckental Challenger last week. He’ll look to add in Bratislava).
Steve Darcis (BEL): No. 181 ========> No. 156 (Playing injured, wrapping up his career at age 35, the Belgian reaches the Eckental Challenger final).
— Vasek Pospisil (@VasekPospisil) November 3, 2019
Vasek Pospisil (CAN): No. 174 ========> No. 153 (Two nice jumps with two Challenger wins for the Canadian, with one more to come this week in Knoxville).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Novak Djokovic (SRB): No. 1 ========> No. 2 (Djokovic drops a spot. But winning Paris gave him a net plus of 400 points for the week, which kept the gap within reach in terms of getting it back after the finals).
Alexander Zverev (GER): No. 6 ========> No. 7 (Considering he drops 1,390 points in one fell swoop, it’s impressive that he only drops one spot in the rankings. But it means that he’s a lot closer to the rest of the top 10 even if Matteo Berrettini, the only one of the crew to qualify for London, is the only one within reach).
Kei Nishikori (JPN): No. 11 ========> No. 13 (Hopefully the Japanese player will come out firing in 2020, with the elbow issue addressed by the removal of a couple of bone spurs a few weeks ago).
Karen Khachanov (RUS): No. 8 ========> No. 17 (Khachanov’s position in the top 10, with a relatively pedestrian 29-26 won-loss record and no titles on the season, was always a bit of a paper tiger with that Masters 1000 title to defend at season’s end. A third-round loss means he suffers a fairly big drop Monday even though he had no London points falling off).
Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN): No. 19 ========> No. 21 (The young Canadian had an opportunity to make a move in Vienna and Paris. But an ankle injury took him out; hopefully he’ll be in good for for the Davis Cup finals).
Marin Cilic (CRO): No. 24 ========> No. 39 (It’s astonishing to see these types of numbers next to Cilic’s name, after the points drop from a quarterfinal effort in Paris and one won at the ATP Tour finals drop off. It’s his lowest ranking in six years. The Croat’s woes began, it seems, by playing the Davis Cup finals so late last year – he posted wins over both Tsonga (then ranked No. 259) and Lucas Pouille. But he dragged a knee issue through a far-too-short offseason and into 2019).
Kevin Anderson (RSA): No. 45 ========> No. 91 (In July 2018, Anderson was at No. 5 in the world. This is as low as he’s been since July 2010, after his points from a semi-final effort at the Tour Finals drop off. Anderson hasn’t played since Wimbledon because of injury; hopefully he can bounce back in 2020, when he will turn 34).
Damir Dzumhur (BIH): No. 91 ========> No. 103 (The Bosnian might be putting himself out of contention for a main-draw spot in Melbourne, although he’s playing a Challenger in Bratislava this week to try to secure his spot).
James Duckworth (AUS): No. 90 ========> No. 110 (Duckworth continues on in Kobe this week. But he might well need a wild card to play the main draw in Melbourne).
Peter Polansky (CAN): No. 159 ========> No. 185 (Polansky lost his first match at the Charlottesville Challenger, after reaching the final last year. He’ll try again in Knoxville this week).
Malek Jaziri (TUN): No. 150 ========> No. 204 (Jaziri’s career high ranking of No. 42 came at the beginning of this year, just as he was turning 35).