Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

Follow-up IV: Djokovic as GOAT? (III) and COVID distortions

with 3 comments

To further make my point from yesterday, the new ATP rankings are in.

First, to revisit an older rankings discussion, we then had a ranking that made Djokovic a strong candidate for the true number one (see there for argumentation):

The official ATP ranking currently* has a top-7 of:

*Note that this page is regularly updated. Data used represent the current state.

1 Carlos Alcaraz 6,740
2 Casper Ruud 5,850
3 Rafael Nadal 5,810
4 Daniil Medvedev 5,065
5 Alexander Zverev 5,040
6 Stefanos Tsitsipas 4,810
7 Novak Djokovic 3,570

Today, the same official ranking has a top-5 of:

1 Carlos Alcaraz 6,820
2 Rafael Nadal 6,020
3 Casper Ruud 5,820
4 Stefanos Tsitsipas 5,550
5 Novak Djokovic 4,820

Djokovic is now exactly 2000 points from a tied number one—and this is exactly the points that were withheld from him for his Wimbledon victory.* Alcaraz, too, has some points missing from his Wimbledon exploits, but far fewer, and even with this lone adjustment, Djokovic would be a clear number two and nabbing at Alcaraz’s heals. However, Djokovic was unfairly denied a chance at both the Australian Open and the U.S. Open, and even a very sub-par effort at even one of them would have been enough to bring him to number one.**

*Intended as a punishment of Wimbledon, not Djokovic, but he is the one who might see the largest negative effect.

**Alcaraz, in turn, missed the ATP Finals due to injury. However, injury is something relating to the player, e.g. in that a player who trains harder and plays more often has a larger injury risk (and might, therefore, have avoided the injury by earning less points in the past). Moreover, the maximum payout at the ATP Finals is 1,500 points to 2,000 for each of Djokovic’s missed majors.

Conclusion: in a fairer world, Djokovic would right here and right now be the number one on the ranking, and, as this is the final ranking of the year,* Djokovic would have just earned his 8th (!) end-of-the-year top spot, thereby extending his lead in the ATP era. (Sampras 6, Federer/Nadal/Connors all 5. Cf. Wikipedia on ATP number ones.) It would also make him highly competitive with the likes of Pancho Gonzales from the pre-ATP era.** (I caution that I, personally, do not give the end-of-the-year ranking a greater weight than the weekly ranking; however, many others consider it important—especially, for comparisons with the pre-ATP era.)

*At least in terms of top players and movements between them. There might or might not be other changes through lesser tournaments.

**Rankings from these times are often disputed and comparisons tricky.

Combine this with the artificial damage done to counts of majors-won and weeks-at-number-one, and it is clear that the last few years have been a travesty (cf. earlier texts), which makes just going by numbers impossible—but where it is to be feared that most future judges will just go by numbers.


Written by michaeleriksson

November 22, 2022 at 12:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] I have argued repeatedly in the past (cf. [1], [2], [3], [4]), Djokovic is the true number-one player in the world, only failing to be so officially due to […]

  2. […] to his vaccination status has been addressed repeatedly in earlier texts ([1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6]). While he was allowed to compete in this year’s Australian Open, and while this allowed him […]

  3. […] would soon become tedious. However, past installments in this saga include [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: