Latest UTR ratings without Novak Djokovic make for interesting reading

Kevin Palmer
Novak Djokovic in action
Novak Djokovic celebrates

Novak Djokovic is missing the Indian Wells Masters event due to his Covid vaccine status and there is a chance his absence could cost him his status as the world No 1.

While 22-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic is hoping to be granted an exemption to play in the Miami Open later this month, America’s insistence that all visitors need to be vaccinated against Covid looks likely to rule the Serbian out of the Flordia tournament as well.

That will give him rivals a chance to compete for 2,000 world ranking points he will not be eligible to collect and it could have an impact on his ranking.

Carlos Alcaraz has a lot of point to defend from Indian Wells and Miami last year, with his victory in the second of those two events ensuring he has a tough task to overhaul Djokovic in the next two events.

Yet in-form Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev will all be looking to close in on the world No 1 ranking with the current leader excluded from the American swing.

Now Universal Tennis has produced a new rankings list without Djokovic and they suggest the second best player in the world right now is Medvedev.

The Russian won his last three tournaments and beat Djokovic in Dubai earlier this month, suggesting he is getting back to the form that helped him to win the 2021 US Open.

Medvedev may be the man to beat in Indian Wells and Miami and if he were to win both events, as he is defending just 225 points from these two events in 2022.

Danish young gun Holger Rune is next in the UTR ratings list, with Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime in the UTR’s top three list.

Casper Ruud is sitting at No. 4 in the current ATP rankings, but he is down in 10th in the UTR list.

An updated list of the top ten WTA players has also been published, with Iga Swiatek the undisputed world No 1.

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina is higher up this list than she is in the WTA rankings, with the 2,000 points she could have won after her win at the All England Club last summer hurting her current official ranking.

Victoria Azarenka is another notable name in the UTR top ten, as she is down in 14th position in the latest WTA rankings.

With the tennis ranking system in chaos after Djokovic was denied entry to a host of tournaments in 2022 and Wimbledon had no ranking points offer after their decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players saw the ATP and WTA stripping the event of ranking point.

The true reflection of the tennis ranking list may not be clear until after this year’s US Open, when Djokovic will be back playing a full-time schedule and the points missing from 2022 are all restored.

Until then, the Universal Tennis rankings may be a more reliable reflection of the game’s current pecking order.

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