Dominic Thiem at No.2, Roger Federer at No.7: How Would the ATP Rankings Look if Not Been Frozen

Published 01/06/2021, 11:37 PM EST
Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts during his Men’s Singles first round match against Steve Johnson of the United States on day one of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

The COVID-19 pandemic forced all of us to sit at home and take precautions. The ATP also took the decision to freeze the ranking of players and follow a much longer period for rankings than the usual 52 weeks to combat the effects of the pandemic. But if the rankings weren’t frozen, that would change the present ranking of the big 3 of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and their next challenger – Dominic Thiem.


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Players didn’t lose points for not participating in tournaments and they didn’t need to defend the points they earned from 2019.

Novak Djokovic would keep his Number one ranking


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Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates his win. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Djokovic leads the ATP Rankings and has a huge lead over 2nd place, Rafael Nadal. This meant that he is immune to this test. If the rankings hadn’t been frozen, then Djokovic would have lost just 1000 points.

Novak had won the 2019 Paris Masters but decided not to take part in 2020. Other than that, Djokovic only bettered his ranking points last year.

Rafael Nadal would drop to third in the ATP Rankings

Nadal would take the biggest hit if the rankings weren’t frozen. He currently has 9850 points. Nadal would lose 2000 points from the US Open because he didn’t defend his title in 2020.

Rafael Nadal reacts during his semi-final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Similarly, Nadal won the Italian Open 2019 and was defending 1000 points from the event. So he would have lost those points if the new ranking rules weren’t introduced. Therefore, Nadal’s points would have been 6850, pushing him below Thiem to 3rd.


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Roger Federer would be closer to dropping out of the top 10 ATP rankings

Roger Federer was lucky as the ranking freeze came at the right time for him. Federer had two knee surgeries which ruled him out of the 2020 season.

Thus, the ranking freeze saved him a lot of points. After the season restarted, we had the US Open and Cincinnati Masters. Here, Federer would have lost 360 and 90 points respectively, which he earned at the 2019 US Open and Cincinnati Masters.

At the Italian Open, he would have lost 180 points. Federer had reached the semifinal of the 2019 French Open; thus, he would have lost a further 720 points if the rankings weren’t frozen. Finally, at the ATP Finals, Federer earned 400 points in 2019 and would have lost all of them in 2020.

Roger Federer of Switzerland looks on during the 2020 Australian Open. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

Adding up the total, Federer would have lost 1750. Currently, he has 6630 points that would have become 4880, putting him behind Alexander Zverev at seventh. Had Wimbledon and Miami Open happened in 2020, Federer would have gone down to 14th.

Dominic Thiem would jump Rafael Nadal to claim the number two spot on the ATP Rankings


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The biggest gainer, if the ranking freeze hadn’t happened, would have been Dominic Thiem. The Austrian currently has 9125 points. He performed really well in 2020 and the points that he would have lost, he would have covered some place else.

Dominic Thiem of Austria celebrates with the 2020 US Open trophy. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

If the rankings weren’t frozen, Thiem would lose 500 points from his Vienna Open triumph in 2019 and 1200 points from his 2019 French Open final appearance. So this would bring down his points total to 7425, keeping him clear of Nadal and at the World No.2 spot.


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Bhavishya Mittal

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Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.