New ATP Rankings: When in Rome, Rafael Nadal does not care if he’s No 2

Roger Federer took back the No. 1 spot in the men’s rankings released on Monday after being second to Rafael Nadal for six weeks.

Our champ drops down the rankings because he was defending a huge number of points won last year when he claimed titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and the French Open meaning he had to emulate last season’s success to defend his position.

Photo by David Aliaga/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Rafa can reclaim top spot before the grass-court season if he wins the Rome Masters this week and an 11th French Open, which begins on May 27 in Paris.


You cannot be No. 1 five months without competing.

I think from Shanghai till Monte-Carlo, I hadn’t finished a single tournament. We’re talking about a lot of months that I gave up.

If we were talking about the ranking of one year, if I played really good in one period of the year, which I’ve done, let’s be clear, I have been playing really good recently. Last year I made it to the finals in every single tournament. This year till now I had only one or two tournaments that I had played. This is the reality of this year.

Five months without playing in a tournament means that I cannot be No. 1. I’m not even thinking about that. I’m not going to keep the No. 1 today. At the end of the year we will see what happens.

ATP rankings as of May 14:

1. Roger Federer (SUI) 8,670 pts (+1)

2. Rafael Nadal (ESP) 7,950 (-1)

3. Alexander Zverev (GER) 6,015

4. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 4,870

5. Marin Cilic (CRO) 4,770

6. Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) 4,540

7. Kevin Anderson (RSA) 3,660 (+1)

8. Dominic Thiem (AUT) 3,545 (-1)

9. John Isner (USA) 3,305

10. David Goffin (BEL) 2,930

Race to London: In the 52 week rankings, the year to date rankings, Rafa has dropped one place to 4th spot.

Sources: Eurosport, ATP World Tour


  1. Rafa I wholeheartedly agree, that whatever ranking Rafa is,

    he is completely tops in my books.

    Love and prayers Rafa for Rome,


  2. Margo. Just in reply to a previous query of yours in regard to the Nitto ATP Finals.
    1500 points are awarded to the undefeated champion.
    Points beakdown:
    200 points per round robin match won PLUS
    400 for a semi final win PLUS
    500 for a final win.

    • Lorna, thank you very much for the breakdown. Makes a lot more sense as I had no idea how points are awarded. I sure hope Rafa is healthy and able to play in November.


      • Margo, I am hoping that Rafa’s forced rest after the AO might result in his being less tired at the end of the season. Despite Rafa’s loss in Madrid, he did not look as tired arriving in Rome as last year. While Rafa said he was not interested in the straight set streak, it probably brought more pressure than he would admit.

      • Va4favre, as long as Rafa doesn’t overdo it and he is healthy, he should be ok for the year-end finals. There are a lot of contenders but only 8 spots. Rafa is now #4 in the Race to London so I’m hoping for him to improve on that.

        I don’t know about that streak or whatever it is. At first I thought it was “consecutive” then I realized it’s not consecutive.

        His loss in Madrid has me somewhat worried. I do hope it was just an off day for Rafa.

        RAFA RULES

  3. Ranking points for those who wish to do the math.

    In 2017, Rafa won Madrid and was awarded 1000 points as the winner.

    In 2018, Rafa only reached the QF and was awarded 180 for the QF round.

    If you deduct 180 points from last year’s 1000 points you can see Rafa Rafa was unable to defend 820 points. So now he is minus 820 points instead of equal to last year’s 1000 points. He would not have gained points nor lost any points had he just won Madrid.

    I hope I got it right.

  4. Rafa dropped down in the ATP rankings because he lost Madrid. This has nothing to do with Monte-Carlo or Barcelona, for those who are learning about the ranking system.

    There are two different ATP ranking systems. One for the regular tournaments and one for the year-end rankings called The Race to London or the year-end rankings, which I don’t completely understand. This is the ranking Rafa is most concerned about, the year-end ranking.


    Rafa dropped to No. 4 in the ATP Race to London rankings, and to No. 2 for regular rankings.

    • The Race to London is based on points from the beginning of 2018 to the London tournament when the top 8 players of that calendar year compete I believe. And the points would be from only ATP events as well. I recently found a new app called “Live Tennis Rankings” that shows live rankings for the ATP, Race to London, Race to Milan (for the young guns), WTA, etc. Every time a match ends, you can see the update to the points and also the upcoming points for that player if they win in the next round. It is fun to follow all the time throughout tournaments instead of waiting until Monday to see ranking changes. And you can see how some of the young players who win against a higher ranked player may jump up 30 spots in one day. Of course I am most interested in following Rafa but I love watching tennis in general as well. Hope this helps. If you have an iPhone just look for a green icon circle app with “ltr” in the center. It’s free.

      • Darice, thank you so much for adding to this discussion. Undoubtedly some fans will want to avail themselves of the app.

        What I don’t understand is how points are awarded at the ATP Finals [Nitto]. There is a round robin which is not in any ATP tournament. And doesn’t the year-end winner get extra points? More than 1000?


        RAFA ROCKS

      • Live rankings is one of my very favorite sites. I check it very often during tournaments. It gives you the current rankings plus the race to London points. It also gives the points for the Nextgen event in Milan. Rafa lost early in Rome last year, which is why he can gain points if he wins. I hope that Rafa wins for his sake, but the number one ranking is less important to me. Rafa playing well and staying healthy is important.

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