The UPOIOTD for Wednesday June 15, and it comes from the tumultuous drug-riddled, scandal-filled world of Men’s tennis, because women’s tennis is now Iga Swiatek, a long stretch of daylight, and 500 other ladies fighting it out for 2nd-best.
Now, in the February 28 update of the ATP Rankings, the nationless “Bullshit Russian” Daniil Medvedev overtook Novak Djokovic to become the new World No.1, marking the first time one of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic hadn’t been World No.1 since Andy Murray’s stint of 41 weeks from November 7, 2016 to August 20, 2017, which, until Medvedev took the crown, was the only time one of the ‘Big Three’ hadn’t been World No.1 since February 2, 2004.
But now we can go even further, as Monday’s updated ATP Singles Ranking marks the first time since November 10, 2003, that one of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic aren’t in the ATP’s Top 2.
With last year’s French Open points dropped, Medvedev went back to World No.1, which he’ll comfortably hold after Wimbledon thanks to the no ranking points situation and the fact that Novak Djokovic is the defending champion (They’ll drop off on July 11 I believe), Alexander Zverev is at a career-high World No.2, although he’ll lose that at some point in the coming months due to his foot injury in the French Open semi-final, Djokovic has dropped to World No.3, his first ranking outside the Top 2 since October 2018, and Rafael Nadal is No.4 following a 13th win at Roland Garros.
So fancy that, the guy at World No.4 has won more Grand Slam titles this year (2) than the combined Top 3 have tour titles this year (1, Djokovic in Rome).
Now, back in November 2003, the World No.1 was Andy Roddick off the back of his US Open win, which is still the most recent Major singles title by an American man, the World No.2 was Juan Carlos Ferrero, the reigning French Open champion and the runner-up to Roddick at Flushing Meadows, and Wimbledon champion Federer was World No.3.
Ah, the days when Mark ‘The Pou’ Philippoussis wasn’t suffering repeated knee injuries or appearing on Age Of Love.
That week also saw the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup (Now the ATP Tour Finals) in Houston, which Federer won fairly comfortably (Dropping just 1 set) to jump Ferrero into finishing the year as the World No.2 behind Roddick, setting the stage for Roger’s takeover of Men’s tennis in Melbourne a few months later:
While Nadal and Djokovic rose up to create the Big 3’s monopoly on Men’s tennis, Federer would remain in the Top 2 until July 5, 2010, when he dropped to World No.3 behind Rafa & Novak after losing in the Wimbledon Quarter-Finals as the defending champion against Tomáš Berdych, having spent a Tour record 346 consecutive weeks in the Top 2, 285 of them at World No.1, including a record 237 consecutive weeks in the top spot (February 2 2004 to August 17 2008).
So in conclusion, it only took the combined insanity of a Russian-Ukrainian war, a global pandemic + vaccine skepticism to end the Big 3’s run in the Top 2.
Well done everyone.