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Latest ATP Rankings 28 January 2019: Novak Djokovic extends lead as World No. 1 after winning record seventh Australian Open title

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Ranking 27 Jan 2019
  • Latest ATP rankings
  • Djokovic extends lead in top spot
  • Federer drops to No. 6
  • Tsitsipas rises to career-high No. 12
Novak Djokovic (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic has cemented his spot as World No. 1 with a bullet after dismantling Rafael Nadal to secure a record seventh Australian Open title on Sunday night in Melbourne.

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Djokovic delivered one of the best performances of his career as he squared off against Nadal for the 53rd time in the final, conquering the Spaniard by a 6-3 6-2 6-3 scoreline in two hours and four minutes to land his 15th Grand Slam title, propelling him in front of Pete Sampras to third on the all-time list, behind Roger Federer (20) and Nadal, who remains on 17.

Virtually unstoppable from first point to last, Djokovic committed just nine unforced errors, fired 34 winners and won 56 of his 59 service points in one of the most dominant and complete displays you’re ever likely to witness in a major final.

“It ranks right at the top,” said Djokovic. “Under the circumstances, playing against Nadal, such an important match, I mean, it's amazing. Obviously back-to-back semi-finals [against Lucas Pouille] and final, I think I made 15 unforced errors in total in two matches. It's quite pleasantly surprising to myself, as well, even though I always believe I can play this way, visualise myself playing this way. At this level… it was truly a perfect match.
“(Sampras) was someone that I look up to. When I was started to play tennis, one of the first images of tennis in general was him playing Wimbledon, winning I think his first title back in '93. I was a small boy in Kopaonik, this mountain resort in the south of Serbia. Nobody had ever touched a tennis racquet before me. I did not have a tennis tradition in my family. I did have sports tradition. So it was definitely a sign of destiny to start playing tennis, to aspire to be as good as Pete. To surpass him with Grand Slam titles, I'm speechless.”

Djokovic also breaks free from Federer and Roy Emerson for most Australian Open titles, adding a seventh trophy from down under to his cabinet, while the victory was his 73rd overall career-title.

Novak Djokovic poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
The Serbian is the first man in history to put together three streaks of three or more Grand Slam titles after winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year (he also won three straight between 2011 Wimbledon and 2012 Australian Open, while he became the first man to hold all four slams simultaneously since Rod Laver in 1969 when he won four consecutively between 2015-16).

Djokovic will now be going for the same feat when he challenges for the Roland Garros title in May. The 31-year-old extended his lead at the top of the latest ATP rankings to 2,635 points over No. 2 Nadal,   adding 1,820 points to his current total of 10,955.

In June of last year, Djokovic was ranked outside the top 20 with just 1,655 points. It truly has been an extraordinary turnaround.

Meanwhile, Nadal simply had no answers for the Serbian’s masterclass despite entering the final in some red-hot form, advancing to the title match for the loss of just 48 games and not dropping serve since his opening round.

However, there would be no repeat of the pair’s epic 2012 final that Djokovic won in nearly six hours, with Nadal declaring there was nothing he could do to stop the World No. 1 in that kind of form.

“I think he played fantastic,” said Nadal. “When he's playing that way, I think I needed something else. I was not able to have that extra 'thing' tonight. [It] was unbelievable the way that he played, no doubt about that… I played fantastic tennis during both weeks, but [by] probably playing that well, I didn't suffer much. Five months without competing, having that big challenge in front of me, I needed something else... That's my feeling, to compete at this super high level.”

It was still a successful tournament for Nadal, who arrived at Melbourne Park without a competitive match under his belt since retiring in the U.S. Open semi-finals in September. The 32-year-old added 840 points to this rankings total of 8,320, creating a comfortable margin of new No. 3 Alexander Zverev (6,475), who moved up to a career-high ranking despite another Grand Slam no-show due to Federer losing points for failing to defend his title.

Federer let slip of 1,820 points overall and drops down to No. 6, behind the likes of No. 4 Juan Martin del Potro and No. 5 Kevin Anderson. Last year’s runner-up Marin Cilic also fell three places to No. 10 after a fourth round defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut.

Breakout star Stefanos Tsitsipas, who was responsible for knocking out Federer in the fourth round, rises three rungs on the rankings ladder to No. 12 courtesy of his sparkling run to the semi-finals, while fellow surprise semi-finalist Lucas Pouille climbs 14 spots to No. 17, with the Frenchman’s new coaching partnership with Amelie Mauresmo off to a flying start.

Milos Raonic moves up three places to No. 14 after reaching the quarter-finals, while Bautista Agut, who has compiled an excellent start to 2019, rises six spots to No. 18.

Last year’s semi-finalists Kyle Edmund and Hyeon Chung have both fallen dramatically after first and second round exits respectively, with the former going down to No. 29 and the latter crashing to No. 50.

Latest ATP rankings, Monday January 28

1. Novak Djokovic
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Alexander Zverev (+1)
4. Juan Martin del Potro (+1)
5. Kevin Anderson (+1)
6. Roger Federer (-3)
7. Kei Nishikori (+2)
8. Dominic Thiem
9. John Isner (+1)
10. Marin Cilic (-3)
11. Karen Khachanov
12. Stefanos Tsitsipas (+3)
13. Borna Coric (-1)
14. Milos Raonic (+3)
15. Fabio Fognini (-2)
16. Daniil Medvedev (+3)
17. Lucas Pouille (+14)
18. Roberto Bautista Agut (+6)
19. Marco Cecchinato (-1)
20. Diego Schwartzman (-4)

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Latest ATP Rankings 28 January 2019: Novak Djokovic extends lead as World No. 1 after winning record seventh Australian Open title

Novak Djokovic has cemented his spot as World No. 1 with a bullet after dismantling Rafael Nadal to secure a record seventh Australian Open title on Sunday night in Melbourne.

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