There were some seismic shifts in both the ATP and WTA rankings this week after a wild Australian Open, where a number of underdogs rose up, but one very familiar face finished on top.
Novak Djokovic takes No. 1 back from Rafael Nadal after Melbourne victory
Going into the first major of the season, the No. 1 scenario was clear—the only way Djokovic could take the No. 1 ranking back from Nadal was if the Spaniard lost before the semifinals and the Serb won the title. And that’s exactly what ended up happening, with Nadal falling to Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals and Djokovic going on to lift the trophy, defeating Thiem in a marathon five-set final.
Djokovic now begins his 276th career week at No. 1—he’s closing in on the record for most weeks at No. 1 in ATP history, trailing only Pete Sampras (286 weeks) and Roger Federer (310 weeks).
“That’s one of the two biggest goals, for sure. I mean, there is no secret in that,” he told ATPTour.com.
Djokovic only has a 325-point lead over No. 2-ranked Nadal—9,720 to 9,395—but the Serb only has 315 points to defend over the next three months, while the Spaniard is defending 945 points.
Meanwhile, Thiem moved from No. 5 back to his career-high of No. 4 by reaching the final, and he’s now on the verge of a new personal best—he’s just 85 points behind No. 3 Federer, 7,130 to 7,045.
There were several other notable moves up the ATP rankings: Andrey Rublev rose from No. 16 to No. 15, his Top 15 debut, after extending his winning streak to 15 matches in a row to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open; former No. 18 Benoit Paire rose from No. 21 to No. 19, his first time in the Top 20 since 2016, after reaching the second round in Melbourne; and former No. 13 Nick Kyrgios jumped from No. 26 to No. 20, his first time in the Top 20 since 2018, after a fourth-round showing.
A pair of Americans also rose up Down Under: Tennys Sandgren soared from No. 100 to No. 56 after reaching his second Melbourne quarterfinal in the last three years, where he missed out on seven match points in a heartbreaking loss to Federer; and Tommy Paul went from No. 80 to No. 70 after reaching the third round of a major for the first time, upsetting Grigor Dimitrov along the way.
Sofia Kenin crashes Top 10 after breakthrough run to first Grand Slam title
Kenin went into the Australian Open as a long shot—she was ranked No. 15 and had never even been to a Grand Slam quarterfinal before. But the 21-year-old American went all the way to her first major title, and with that she soared to No. 7 on the new WTA rankings, her Top 10 debut.
She also passed Serena Williams, who’s No. 9, to become the new American No. 1.
“It’s just great—I feel like I’m doing some great things for American tennis. It’s such an honor,” Kenin said. “I’ve watched Serena. I’ve been following her, all the Slams she’s been winning. It’s a special feeling just to be ahead of her. I can’t wait to compete and be on the same team with her in Fed Cup.”
Former No. 1 Garbine Muguruza, who reached her first Grand Slam final since 2017 before finishing runner-up to Kenin, bounced back into the Top 20, halving her ranking from No. 32 to No. 16.
Other movers on the WTA rankings included Ons Jabeur, who jumped from No. 78 to No. 45—her Top 50 debut—after reaching her first major quarterfinal; and Coco Gauff, who rose from No. 67 to No. 51 after making the fourth round, taking out defending champion Naomi Osaka before falling to Kenin.
Roberto Bautista Agut and Petra Kvitova dip out of Top 10; Maria Sharapova falls out of Top 300
With so many ranking points changing hands, there are bound to be some drops down the rankings after a major, too, and there was no exception this time. Bautista Agut, who reached his first major quarterfinal in Melbourne last year, slid from No. 9 to No. 12 after falling in the third round this year; and Lucas Pouille, who reached the semifinals last year, plummeted from No. 24 to No. 62 after having to miss this year’s event with an elbow injury. And American rising star Frances Tiafoe saw his ranking drop from No. 50 to No. 79 after falling first round this year, having reached the quarters last year.
On the women’s side, defending champion Naomi Osaka dipped from No. 4 to No. 10 following a third-round finish this year, while Kvitova, who finished runner-up to Osaka a year ago, dropped out of the Top 10 from No. 8 to No. 11 after falling in the quarters this year. And American Danielle Collins, a semifinalist in 2019, went from No. 25 to No. 50 after falling in the second round this year.
Finally, Sharapova, who has spent much of the last 12 months on the sidelines due to a shoulder injury, fell from No. 145 to No. 369 after losing in the first round in Melbourne, having reached the fourth round last year. She only has one match win to defend over the next four and a half months, though.