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Discussion Starter #1
Djokovic has a lot of things going for him to finish number one at the end of 2021 and to hold the no 1 ranking for most if not all of 2021. Obviously, he has to play well and continue gathering points, but his advantages are these:

1. He currently has a 2180 ATP point advantage over Nadal, 2905 advantage over Thiem, 3560 advantage over Medvedev, and a 5400 advantage over Federer.

2. Djokovic starts off the year with 3165 guaranteed points due to his fast start in 2020 and these will count towards the 2021 year end (Thiem has 1355 which is the second most and Nadal 1100).

3. Djokovic plays well on all surfaces and so should get points on hard, grass, and clay courts. No one else to this point has been nearly as consistent. Nadal is weaker on hard courts, Medvedev on clay, Thiem on grass (so far), and Federer is recovering from surgery.

4. Djokovic has two stretches in the 2021 year (assuming it happens close to scheduled) where he can gather a lot of extra points compared to other contenders. This is March through May where he can gain a lot of points at IW, Miami, and MC and the US Open until the end of the year.

4. It seems that there are four players in the world right now who are very close to each other in level depending on surface and their form. In addition to the top four, Federer, Tsitsipas, and Zverev are not far behind. It may be a somewhat unique situation in the age of the Big 3.

5. While one could argue that so many people near the same as Djokovic may overtake him and Nadal for #1 and #2, it may be actually the opposite as these other high-quality players may split the points, and if Nadal can continue to score a lot of clay court points and Djokovic gather more points on all surfaces, it still may be Djokovic and Nadal as #1 and #2 again.

Obviously, motivation and being injury free can alter these predictions dramatically.

Please discuss my reasoning not the question of whether the points are legitimate or not in the age of COVID 19. Whether we like it or not, it is what it is and the ATP has deemed it to be legitimate and all the players had input into what was fair to all parties.
 

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Way too soon for any of this, his “covid-protected” points wont help if he has a huge dip in form the rest of the year
Obviously no reason to assume he wont have a good chance, as has been the case most years in the last decade

AO should give us the first glimpse but a lot of unknowns still, obviously (since the year hasn’t even started yet)
 

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Are you talking about YE#1? If yes, then everyone starts from the same line, don't they? It is wide open next year IMO.
 

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I don't believe it is certain what the criteria will be for 2021 Year End ranking, whether they will continue to go by the extended (or protected) 52 week ranking system, or use race points, (only points earned in 2021, not protected from 2020), They apparently will use 2020 COVID protected points for ranking use up to March, but thereafter, it's anyone's guess what will happen. It's a new situation and they are writing/rewriting rules on the fly.

Of course, I would normally defer to our Rankings Master - @Slasher1985; about this subject, but I don't know if he knows either. ;)

Respectfully,
masterclass
 
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Discussion Starter #6
You may be correct. I am assuming they will do 2021 the same way they did 2020 which is to use protected points.

As for this being way too early, all I am saying is that from the start Djokovic, whether you like him or not, has a unique advantage over the other players with Nadal being second in advantage due to his strong hold on clay court points.

Obviously, both will have to play well and gather points as they are likely to lose old points as they go through the schedule.
 

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Yup, it's inevitable. Poor Fed's ex-record of most weeks at #1 is going to get absolutely obliterated. Won't even be close.
 

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The first 3 months are protected points including ye #1, I believe.
But others have a chance to gain points.
This is too soon to come up with.
Injuries. Covid- Olympics There are alot of things.
If i had to be i say Nole doesnt finish number one.
Rafa or Thiem do.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes that is true. Again, all I am saying is that Djokovic has a big advantage IMO assuming the first 3 months are including in the year end No.1 and even if they are not, those points will help him maintain the No 1 for many weeks in 2021 and even if he loses the No.1 to Nadal, it is likely to be short-lived for the reasons I stated (barring injury, etc.).
 

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Well, there are pre-covid records and covid records. Djocovid could have lost No 1 the very next week to Nadal at Indian Wells in a normal season. So Federer will retain the record, while Djocovid can bask in the covid record. Well done to Novaxx.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As has been pointed out multiple times, Nadal and Federer are closer to Djokovic because of including the previous year, not further away.

So maybe we should move them to their rightful place: lower (Nadal) and much lower (Federer) in the rankings. As I said, whether we like it or not, the ATP has chosen to add the points this way. While it can be argued that it has been unfair to Djokovic (and others), I am dealing with the situation as it is, not as it theoretically might be.
 

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Are you talking about YE#1? If yes, then everyone starts from the same line, don't they? It is wide open next year IMO.
Not in 2021

The pre pandemic 2020 events points will be counted in it.

Djokovic won Dubai,AO, and ATP Cup which will count in the 2021 YE rankings
 

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No more acting like covid only benefited Federer cause now it’s gonna benefit Faker even more and he will keep the no.1 for a long time despite clearly not being the best player right now.
 

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The way Nadal killed Djokovic in this year's French Open, Nadal will win Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros.
 

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Yup, it's inevitable. Poor Fed's ex-record of most weeks at #1 is going to get absolutely obliterated. Won't even be close.
But it won't count, because Djokovic only has 17 slams.
You need to win 20 slams for your #1 stats to matter, because ranking stats are only used for separating players when they are tied in the slam race.
Djokovic may tie Federer on 20 eventually, and by then Nadal will have 23+ slams anyway....
 

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Not in 2021

The pre pandemic 2020 events points will be counted in it.

Djokovic won Dubai,AO, and ATP Cup which will count in the 2021 YE rankings
Are we sure about this? This year was a special case because a majority of the tour did not take place. Next year, if all the tournaments take place as scheduled, it would make no sense to count this year's winnings towards next year's YE#1 race. That would invalidate everything.
 

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Nadal has been nowhere near as consistent on hardcourts as he was in 2013-14 / 2017-18, so I don't really see him as a threat overall.
Rather Thiem or Medvedev, but they really need to perform consecutively well at almost all Masters, win either a slam or continuously reaching semis/finals which Djokovic had done last 2 years (except when he got injured at 2019 USO or recent default at USO), so they can keep up with Novak.
It will be an exciting race. A lot will depend on Wimbledon too, can Djokovic defend his title from 2019 and Thiem/Medvedev reach eventually much better rounds there?

Are we sure about this? This year was a special case because a majority of the tour did not take place.
Yes, this much is sure. As masterclass pointed out, the further point drops are TBD, though.
 
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