“Difficult to Climb”: Denis Shapovalov Joins Zverev and Rublev in Revised ATP Rankings Row

Published 03/17/2021, 11:03 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021 Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during his third round match against Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


21-year-old Denis Shapovalov is no longer a candidate of the future but a promising figure of the present. Even his takes on some matters of the sport are mature and intelligent. Recently, instead of picking just one side concerning the debate over the new ATP Rankings system, the Canadian chose to look at both sides of the coin.

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Previously, German Alexander Zverev and Russian Andrey Rublev had both called out on the system. Due to the locked points of last year, they have been unable to reach a higher rank.

CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 15: Roger Federer of Switzerland congratulates Andrey Rublev of Russia on his win during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 15, 2019, in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

For instance, Roger Federer, who only played one tournament in 2020, is ahead of both of them, and even though Zverev and Rublev had substantial results last year, their efforts seem to have gone in vain.

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Denis explained, “There’s always going to be positives and negatives in the ranking systems. It is difficult to climb because players aren’t losing points, but at the end of the day, it’s what they decide, and we kind of have to go out there and do it.”

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The World No. 12 Denis Shapovalov pointed out the effects of the updated ranking mechanism for him and Rublev. He used the upcoming Miami Open as an example, where all players will drop only 50% of their earned points.

“On one sense it is good for me because I have semis in Miami so, if I lose early, I think I only lose 50 per cent of the points or whatever it is. But on the other side, of course, it’s really tough to climb,” the 2020 US Open quarterfinalist said.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021, Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in action during his third-round match against Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

The defending Miami champion, Federer, could have lost all his points since he is not playing. But he will drop only half of his ranking points, allowing him to stay in the Top 10.

Conversely, the 23-year-old Russian presently holds a 22-match winning streak in ATP 500s with six titles in 2020 and 2021 so far. However, he is still World No. 8, which is the same as last year.

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“I was amazed like Rublev has won like 25 500s, and he hasn’t been able to climb so much. In one sense, it’s good you’re not dropping, but on the other, it’s difficult to climb, so I’m not really sure,” Denis said.

The March-April-May season is full of points, and players will look forward to making the best of it. At present, Rublev and Shapovalov are in the quarterfinals of ATP Dubai Open 2021. If they go unbeaten, the pair will meet each other in the finals.

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Purav Joshi

694 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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