Novak Djokovic could face a fall in the tennis ranking he endorses

Kevin Palmer
Novak Djokovic speaks to the media
Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts during a press conference

Novak Djokovic’s reign as the world’s No 1 tennis player looks set to continue well in 2024 in the official ATP rankings, but he may be set for a dramatic fall in the alternative tennis rankings he endorses. 

The UTR rankings are calculated using a different method to the traditional ATP list, with current form and the ranking of your opponent taken into account when the final analysis is made.

The method for calculating the UTR ratings differs greatly from the rolling ATP list, which ranks players based on the points they collect over 52 weeks.

Victories against higher-ranked played are worth more in the UTR list than the official ATP or WTA ranking, meaning they offer up a more accurate reflection of the current form at the top of the game.

The UTR rankings are based on the current form from the last few weeks and months rather than reflecting results that occurred up to a year ago, with the system created to promote fair and competitive play across the tennis world.

All players, regardless of age, gender, geography, or skill level, are rated on the same scale between 1.00 and 16.50 based on actual match results.

Italy’s Jannik Sinner ousted Djokovic from the top of the UTR rankings after his Australian Open win, which included a thrilling semi-final victory against the 24-time Grand Slam king, making it three wins in his last four matches against the Serbian.

Now Djokovic is preparing to return to court for the first time since that defeat and his position at No 2 in the UTR rankings may be about to come under threat.

Daniil Medvedev is only a few points behind Djokovic in the updated UTR ranking and he could strengthen his position by defending his title in Dubai this week.

That would send the Russian star into the Indian Wells ATP 1000 event at the start of March on a real high and if he could beat Djokovic in California, he may well leap ahead of his rival in the UTR rankings.

Carlos Alcaraz will also be eyeing up a chance to move ahead of Djokovic in the UTR rankings if he can recover from the ankle twist that forced the Spaniard to pull out of last week’s tournament in Rio.

In the ATP rankings, Djokovic looks set to continue his reign at the top as the method used for that list works on a rolling 52-week calculation.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic reaches incredible new ATP Rankings milestone to cement GOAT status

As Djokovic didn’t play at the Indian Wells or Miami Open events due to his Covid vaccine status last year, he has a chance to challenge for 2,000 ranking points that will strengthen his position as world No 1.

An early exit at the French Open could see Djokovic’s position at the top of the ATP rankings challenged, but progress to the latter stages in Paris and at Wimbledon should see him extend his extraordinary run at the top of the rankings.

Djokovic is in the midst of his 414th week at the top of the ATP rankings, meaning he has now been on top of the rankings for precisely two years more than his nearest rival, Swiss maestro Roger Federer.

Yet he has confirmed the world No 1 ranking is no longer his priority, as he is focusing on adding to his haul of Grand Slam titles.

“I don’t feel like I’m chasing anything now. I feel like I’m creating. That’s kind of a mindset I have,” said Djokovic.

“Of course, my greatest motivation is still love for the game. I really like competing. So as simple as that. Then, you know, I always have goals, you know, and to win another slam, to be No. 1 again, to finish the year as No. 1. Those are let’s say the big goals.

“I still feel young in my own body. It’s serving me well. I won three out of four slams. You know, there are obviously differences with different tennis players in the past that, you know, some of them think that it’s best to leave tennis when you’re at the top.

“Some of them think when you figure out you can’t win the biggest tournaments anymore and that you’re losing to the young guys, then you leave it. I’m more in the second group.

“I have said this before but my focus now is on Grand Slams. To stay at world No 1, you need to play many events and I won’t be doing that at this stage of my career. The ambition now is to peak for the biggest tournaments.”

While Djokovic could be the victim of a slide in the UTR rankings, he could also leap back to the top of this list if he wins the Indian Wells or Miami tournaments in March.


Jannik Sinner – 16.20

Novak Djokovic – 16.11

Daniil Medvedev – 15.89

Carlos Alcaraz – 15.80

Rafael Nadal – 15.76

Andrey Rublev – 15.75

Alexander Zverev – 15.70

Taylor Fritz – 15.69

Grigor Dimitrov – 15.63

Hubert Hurkacz – 15.62