MELBOURNE (AP) – Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open championship returned him to a rather familiar spot on Monday: Number one in the ATP rankings.
His four-place rise from number five to replace Carlos Alcaraz at number one is the largest jump to the top spot in the 50-year history of the computerised rankings for men’s tennis.
“You never know how much more time you have left, so, of course, I nurture and celebrate these moments of becoming number one again and Grand Slam champion,” the 35-year-old Djokovic said after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) in the final at Melbourne Park on Sunday night, “even more than I have, maybe ever in my career. I don’t take it for granted”.
Aryna Sabalenka’s first major title moved her up from number five to a career-best-equalling number two in the WTA rankings, behind only three-time major champion Iga Swiatek.
Ons Jabeur, twice a finalist at Slams in 2022, went from number two to number three, followed by number four Jessica Pegula, number five Caroline Garcia and number six Coco Gauff.
The player Sabalenka beat in Saturday’s Australian Open final, Elena Rybakina, makes her top 10 debut at number 10, up from number 25.
This marks Djokovic’s 374th week leading the ATP, adding to his record. He earned a 10th title at the Australian Open and tied Rafael Nadal with 22 Grand Slam trophies.
Alcaraz slid to number two. He had become the youngest man to be number one when he took over at age 19 after winning the US Open last September. Alcaraz missed the Australian Open because of a leg injury.
Nadal, who hurt his left hip flexor during a second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald of the United States (US), dropped from number two to number six.
Tsitsipas went from number four to number three because of his run in Melbourne; he would have been number one for the first time if he had managed to win the title. Casper Ruud, a two-time Grand Slam runner-up who lost in the second round to Jenson Brooksby of the US, went from number three to number four. Andrey Rublev is number five after getting to the quarterfinals.
Cracking the top 20 for the first time is Tommy Paul, a 25-year-old American who reached his first Grand Slam semifinal before exiting against Djokovic. Paul’s showing in Melbourne lifted him 16 spots from number 35 to number 19.