- 19 Mar 2021
The ATP ranking system continues to be a hot topic of conversation, as it has been ever since the Covid-19 pandemic first struck in March of 2020.
Because it is now using a two-year system, Roger Federer is still No 6 in the world, even though he has played only one tournament in the last 13 months. Matteo Berrettini is still in the top 10 even though he won a grand total of nine matches in all of 2020.
For some players the new rankings help; for others, they hurt. Count Alexander Zverev in the latter group, who has been on a roll with a runner-up showing at last season’s US Open, two titles during the autumn indoor swing, and a recent quarter-final performance at the Australian Open. Nonetheless, the German is still stuck at No 7, one spot behind Federer.
“I am Roger’s Federer’s biggest fan,” Zverev said this week when asked about the rankings. But he hasn’t played in a year and is above me in the rankings. I played a Grand Slam final, a Masters final. Right now, the system is a mess…. The ranking doesn’t really matter to me and with the system, we have now, I mean, I should be top four, top five in the world in the normal system, but the system we have now is a bit absurd.”
The new format has hurt Andrey Rublev even more than Zverev. After being told of Zverev’s comments, the world No 8 was asked for his own opinion on the matter.
“If we would have the normal system, I would be like No 4 in the world I think,” Rublev said, selling himself short because he would actually be No. 3 using the old system. “So what do you think is better for me: to be No 8 or No 4? With the system that we’re having now, for me it’s much tougher to be No 4. So here is the answer.”
Both players piling up points
Both Zverev and Rublev are into the semi-finals of their respective 500-point tournaments in Dubai and Acapulco.
Zverev got a walkover from Casper Ruud at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel on Thursday. Rublev, who is also no strangers to walkovers (he got two last week in Doha), has won a trio of matches in straight sets at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The 23-year-old has now won 23 matches in a row at the 500 level, good for the second-longest 500 streak ever behind Federer (28).
Rublev will try to keep his streak going when he faces Aslan Karatsev on Friday. However, he cannot add to his ranking points because he has already won four consecutive 500 titles. That is part of the reason why the Russian already has his eye on the Miami Masters 1000, where he can add a ton of points to his total.