There were some very notable moves on the rankings this week, but the two biggest stories might be what we’re on the verge of regarding No. 1 on the ATP rankings, and what could happen with No. 2…
Novak Djokovic ties Roger Federer’s No. 1 record
Just over a week after winning his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, Djokovic kicks off his 310th career week as world No. 1, tying Federer for most career weeks at No. 1 in ATP rankings history.
The Swiss has held the record for just over eight and a half years. Federer passed the previous record-holder, Pete Sampras, a week after winning what was then his 17th major at Wimbledon in 2012.
Djokovic will take sole ownership with his 311th career week next week.
“Now, after achieving the historic No. 1 for the longest weeks at No. 1, it’s going to be a relief for me, because I’m going to focus all my attention on Slams, mostly,” he said in Melbourne. “When you are going for No. 1 rankings, you kind of have to be playing the entire season, and you have to be playing well, you have to play all the tournaments. My goals will adapt and will shift a little bit, which means that I will have to adjust also my calendar—not have to, but I will have an opportunity to do that.”
Daniil Medvedev tries to break 15-year stranglehold on Top 2
Just below Djokovic on the ATP rankings, there’s a battle for No. 2 this week: if Medvedev reaches the final of the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam, he’ll rise from No. 3 to No. 2, switching spots with Rafael Nadal. If that happens, Medvedev will become the first player other than Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray to be ranked in the Top 2 since the week of July 18, 2005. Lleyton Hewitt was ranked No. 2 behind Federer that week—Nadal bumped him him out of the Top 2 the next week.
Medvedev’s path to the final in Rotterdam won’t be easy, though. The two-time major finalist begins with a first-round clash against No. 27-ranked Dusan Lajovic, who beat him the last time they met, 7-5, 6-1, in the semifinals of the Masters 1000 event at Monte Carlo two years ago. They’re 1-1 overall.
If the top-seeded Russian makes it through that, it doesn’t get any easier: in the second round he could play No. 26 Borna Coric, who leads their head-to-head, 4-2; in the quarters he could play the No. 7 seed, Felix Auger-Aliassime, who pushed him to a third set tie-break the only time they’ve played; and in the semis he could play No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev, who leads their head-to-head, 5-4.
Iga Swiatek cracks Top 15, Coco Gauff makes Top 40 debut
The last tour-level event of the Australian swing took place this past week—the WTA 500 event in Adelaide—and two of its standout players cracked new ranking classes this week.
Swiatek, who didn’t drop a set en route to her second career WTA title, rose from No. 18 to No. 15, her Top 15 debut. Gauff, who reached the biggest semifinal of her young career there, rose from No. 52 to No. 38, soaring past her previous career-high of No. 47 to break inside the Top 40 for the first time.
And finally, 2019 French Open champion Ashleigh Barty spends her 65th career week at No. 1 this week, passing Simona Halep for 10th-most career weeks at No. 1 in WTA rankings history, after Steffi Graf (377), Martina Navratilova (332), Serena Williams (319), Chris Evert (260), Martina Hingis (209), Monica Seles (178), Justine Henin (117), Lindsay Davenport (98) and Caroline Wozniacki (71).