Top tennis stars set for year-long battle to top the rankings
The battle to end the year as the world number one in the rankings is always an interesting sideshow to the tennis season.
However, the pair are unlikely to have things their own way as their rivals in the men’s and women’s sections strive to knock them off their perch.
Nadal and Djokovic set for another stellar year
Nadal overtook Novak Djokovic as world no. 1 on November 4 last year, but it hasn’t taken long for the Serbian to regain top spot.
His recent victory at the Australian Open took him back in front of Nadal and the pair are expected to have an epic battle as the year progresses.
Roger Fereder’s withdrawal from the French Open following a knee operation clears the way for the pair to dominate the rankings this season.
Djokovic and Nadal have now won the last eight Grand Slam tournaments between them, highlighting their current dominance of the men’s game.
They are both in touching distance of Federer’s record of 20 titles and are fully expected to keep their foot on the gas in their pursuit of the Swiss legend.
Rising stars like Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have yet to prove they have what it takes to win a Slam and are unlikely to challenge for world no. 1 status just yet.
Halep a big threat to Barty
Ashleigh Barty deservedly secured the no. 1 spot in the women’s game after winning four out of six finals during 2019.
She started the new season well, winning the Adelaide International before going on to reach the semi-finals at the Australian Open.
Those results have given her sizeable points advantage over world no.2 Simona Halep, although it would be unwise to write off the Romanian’s chances of closing the gap as the season progresses.
Halep has previous victories at the French Open and Wimbledon on her CV and has looked in good nick at the start of the current campaign.
Another player to watch from slightly further down the rankings is the new Australian Open champion, Sofia Kenin.
The 21-year-old upset the odds to beat Barty on her way to winning the title in Melbourne to move up to no. 7 in the world.
If the American can back that victory up she could climb even higher, although she is unlikely to make it all the way to top spot this term.
Prediction: Djokovic and Nadal are nailed on to fight out the men’s number one spot this season and slight preference is for the Serbian. Barty has enough of a lead over Salep to retain her status as the top women’s player in the world if she can maintain her current form over the coming months.
Pablo Carreno Busta joins the ranks of Masters champions after Montreal fightback
Pablo Carreno Busta is a Masters champion and makes a serious move in the Race to Turin.
Exclusive – Laura Robson leaps to the defence of Emma Raducanu
Former British No 1 Laura Robson is baffled by the inflated expectations Emma Raducanu.
Exclusive – Tim Henman backs Andy Murray to defy his doubters once again
Former British No 1 Henman suggests Murray wins against top players over the last year will encourage him to fight on.
Simona Halep wins ding-dong battle to claim third Canadian Open title
Halep extended her impressive wins record at WTA 1000 events moving out to 185 matches won in the flagship events.
How to watch Masters finals in Toronto and Montreal
How to track the Canadian Open action.
Simona Halep to return to top ten after reaching Toronto final
Simona Halep and Beatriz Haddad Maia will battle it out for the Toronto Masters title.
Dan Evans battles bravely but Pablo Carreno Busta sets Hubert Hurkacz showdown
The British number two was eventually outlasted 7-5 6-7 6-2 across two hours and 58 minutes.
Andy Murray gets Cinccinati boost, but handed tricky opener against old foe with Cameron Norrie also lurking
Andy Murray handed tough assignment in Cincinnati.
Dan Evans vs Pablo Carreno Busta: How to watch Montreal semis as Evans looks to sneak into ATP top 20
A quick lowdown on the Canadian Masters semi-final and possible ATP Ranking changes.