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Pete’s Power Rankings: Djokovic back on top with French Open win

June 15, 2021
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic hold their trophies

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

Welcome to Pete’s Power Rankings, where we paint a picture of the ATP Tour by looking at recent results and ranking players based on their current form, rather than the ATP’s point system.

The power rankings will be updated weekly all the way up to the National Bank Open.

Trade in your heavy top spin forehand and grab your biggest serve, it is the grass court season!

The clay court swing wrapped up in style with a wild final weekend at the French Open, concluding with Novak Djokovic re-asserting his dominance on the ATP Tour. And with his “weakest” part of the year now in the rear-view mirror, we are truly back to living in Djokovic’s kingdom.

Some of the young stars continued their climb towards the top in Paris, the question is now how will they translate their good form to the grass?

We are officially at the halfway point in the season, so with that, here are our post-French Open ATP Tour power rankings:

PETE’S ATP TOUR POWER RANKINGS – Week of June 14, 2021

1. Novak DjokovicChange: +1
2021 Record: 27-3 (3 Titles)Actual Rank: 1Last Week Result: RG – W

For the second time, Djokovic has won the first two Slams of the season and is the defending champion at Wimbledon, setting himself in good position to potentially complete the first Grand Slam by a man in over 50 years.

And given his performance at the French Open, mounting multiple comebacks and defeating the King of Clay, there is every reason to believe that he could do it.

2.Stefanos TsitsipasChange: +1
2021 Record: 39-9 (2 Titles)Actual Rank: 4Last Week Result: RG – F

The Greek will likely be haunted by letting a two-set lead slip away in the final, and the semi-final for that matter, but a first major final and giving one of the best ever all he could handle was a great result for the 22-year-old Tsitsipas at Roland Garros.

@stefanostsitsipas98

It is really difficult to knock him after such a breakthrough fortnight. He just keeps getting better.

3. Alexander ZverevChange: +1
2021 Record: 23-9 (2 Titles)Actual Rank: 6Last Week Result: RG – SF

Zverev nearly mounted an incredible comeback in the semi-finals which would have seen him reach his second major final, ultimately falling just short against Tsitsipas. Still, it was a great tournament for Zverev after very nearly getting bounced in round one.

These late runs at Slams are getting pretty common. He has reached the quarter-finals or better in four of his last five majors.

4.Rafael NadalChange: -3
2021 Record: 23-4 (2 Titles)Actual Rank: 3Last Week Result: RG – SF

Not to be too pessimistic, and it is always dangerous to write Nadal off, but if he cannot win in Paris, is anything a safe bet anymore?

Sure, full credit to Djokovic, the Serbian earned the win over the King of Clay in their semi-final epic, but Nadal made a number of uncharacteristic mistakes that Djokovic was all too happy to take advantage of.

Nadal also has a lot to defend with champion points from the National Bank Open and US Open from 2019 dropping off this summer. He is going to need to find a better level or else this could just be the beginning of the fall.

5.Daniil MedvedevChange: +1
2021 Record: 22-6 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 2Last Week Result: RG – QF

Medvedev’s shot at number one snuck up on the tennis world at Roland Garros, and while Djokovic’s victory makes things a little more complicated, the Russian still has a very legitimate chance to claim the top spot over the coming months.

The fact that he reached the Roland Garros quarter-final after having never won a match at the event before bodes very well for Medvedev heading into the back-half of the season, where he has always had good results.

6. Matteo BerrettiniChange: -1
2021 Record: 21-6 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 9Last Week Result: RG – QF

The Italian had his chances in a tough four-set quarter-final loss to Djokovic in Paris, but overall, he has plenty to be happy about. Berrettini should take confidence from a good result and his all-surface game makes him a threat at every tournament he plays.

7.Roger FedererChange: +2
2021 Record: 4-2Actual Rank: 8Last Week Result: RG – R4

The Swiss maestro straight up said “the grass is where my season starts,” so by that logic his season starts this week in Halle, an event he has won a measly ten times.

Federer is the best grass court player in the Open Era, maybe all time, and will always be a threat on the surface. He looked good in Paris, despite the withdrawal, which gives every indication that he will be dangerous over the coming weeks.

8.Diego SchwartzmanChange: +8
2021 Record: 16-11 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 11Last Week Result: RG – QF

Schwartzman joined an elite club at the French Open of players who have won multiple sets against Nadal at the event, pushing the Spaniard to four sets in their quarterfinal clash.

The Argentine may not be the most elite grass court player, but after stumbling through most of the clay season, he appears to be finding his game again as the season hits the midway mark.

9.Jannik SinnerChange: -1
2021 Record: 24-11 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 23Last Week Result: RG – R4

Ok, yes, Sinner already lost at the Queen’s Club this week, but let us just sweep that under the rug for a minute.

Another good performance from Sinner in Paris, albeit going out a round earlier by a nearly identical score line to Nadal, continues to set up the young Italian for future success.

His grass record is….. not great, 0-2 in his career including this week’s loss in London, but that big backhand can be dangerous on any surface.

10.Marin CilicChange: New to List
2021 Record: 15-10 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 37Last Week Result: Stuttgart – W

While the top guys were still slugging it out on clay, Cilic drew first blood on the grass, claiming the first lawn tennis title of the year in Stuttgart.

The former Wimbledon runner-up did not drop a set on his way to the title. His huge, flat groundstrokes will always be threatening on the surface and his low rank will make him someone to fear in the Wimbledon draw.

11.Roberto Bautista AgutChange: New to List
2021 Record: 19-13Actual Rank: 10Last Week Result: RG – R2

Also going to temporarily ignore his first-round loss in Halle.

Although largely because of Schwartzman losing points, Bautista Agut is back in the top ten this week in the actual ATP rankings and, after an abysmal clay court swing, will be happy to back on the quicker surfaces. He reached two finals and a Masters 1000 semi-final earlier this year on hard court.

It is worth remembering that the Spaniard reached the last four at Wimbledon the last time the tournament was held, so if he can find that early-year form, he will be a player to watch.

12. Andrey RublevChange: +1
2021 Record: 29-9 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 7Last Week Result: Roland Garros – R1

Rublev has been so consistent for so long now that it is hard to believe that he will not bounce back quickly after his disappointing first-round exit in Paris.

The question is going to be how well he can translate his strong form to grass, where he has only played seven tour-level matches in his career.

13.John IsnerChange: +1
2021 Record: 9-5Actual Rank: 33Last Week Result: Roland Garros – R3

After a good showing on clay in Paris, getting a set off the eventual runner-up Tsitsipas, Isner should be coming into the grass court swing, a better surface for his game, with confidence. He is a former Wimbledon semi-finalist after all.

14.Pablo Carreno BustaChange: -4
2021 Record: 17-7 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 12Last Week Result: Roland Garros – R4

On the one hand, Carreno Busta has been super consistent of late. On the other hand, he is not very good on grass. He has had good results at the US Open in the past, one of the faster hard courts. Maybe he can take what works in New York and apply it to the lawns of Europe.

15.Aslan KaratsevChange: –
2021 Record: 22-9 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 24Last Week Result: Roland Garros – R2

We know that he can play well on hard court and clay, so what can the lion do on grass?

Karatsev has played too well in 2021 not to expect good results. However, he has literally never played a tour-level match on grass prior to this week, so it is the ultimate unknown.

Off the List:

  • Reilly Opelka
  • Casper Ruud

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