Djokovic will need to wait for rankings record as ATP confirms points are frozen

andrewhendrie in News 14 Apr 2020
Djokovic Ranking Record
Novak Djokovic (PA Images)

The ATP has confirmed ranking points will remain frozen until the tour begins again, meaning Novak Djokovic will have to wait to land a record milestone.

Djokovic was hot on the heels of surpassing Pete Sampras and Roger Federer for the ranking record of most total weeks at World No. 1 before the coronavirus pandemic caused tennis at all levels to be suspended until at least July 13.

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Currently leading Rafael Nadal by 370 points, Djokovic needs just four weeks to move ahead of Sampras for second on the all-time list, with Roger Federer holding the record at 310 weeks. The Serbian has spent 282 weeks at the top of the rankings.

While the ATP hasn’t publicly commented on the issue, French publication L’Equipe released a story stating they’d received confirmation that all rankings would be frozen until play resumes.

It felt like it was only a matter of time before Djokovic eclipsed both Sampras and Federer for the rankings record.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion lit up the start of 2020, registering a perfect 18-0 record as he led Serbia to the inaugural ATP Cup title, along with capturing silverware at the Australian Open and Dubai.

Seven of those wins came over fellow top 10 players, including Nadal, Federer, Daniil Medvedev, Gael Monfils (twice), Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Had the tour continued as scheduled, Djokovic was due to pass Sampras within a month, while he would have overtaken Federer in the fall.

While it seems fair and logical to all that the rankings remain frozen with the tour shut down, some tennis figures (including Brad Gilbert) believe the rankings system should operate as it would during the off-season, where weeks at No. 1 count despite no tournaments taking place for a month.

With a 52-weeks rotating ranking system in place, both the ATP and WTA tours will need to address how the rankings will operate when the tour resumes, with some players possibly not having the chance to defend their points – depending on when the sport returns.