Novak Djokovic slams his way to top

The 27-year-old Serb first reached No. 1 after earning the 2011 Wimbledon trophy.

By: Associated Press | London | Updated: July 8, 2014 7:04 pm
Djokovic replaced Rafael Nadal as the world's top player following his five-set triumph over Roger Federer in Sunday's final at the All England Club. (Source: AP) Djokovic replaced Rafael Nadal as the world’s top player following his five-set triumph over Roger Federer in Sunday’s final at the All England Club. (Source: AP)

Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic replaced Rafael Nadal at No. 1 in the ATP rankings Monday, while runner-up Roger Federer rose one spot to No. 3. “It means a lot at this stage of my career,” said Djokovic, who was last in the top spot nine months ago.

This is his 102nd week atop the men’s rankings overall, the eighth most in history. In all, there were eight changes in the top 10 a day after Djokovic beat Federer 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4 for his second championship at the All England Club and seventh Grand Slam title.

The 27-year-old Serb first reached No. 1 after earning the 2011 Wimbledon trophy. He’s also the first man to qualify for the 2014 season-ending ATP World Tour Finals, earning a berth for the eighth consecutive year. Djokovic has won that event three times, including in 2012 and 2013.

Andy Murray dropped five ranking spots to No. 10 on Monday by losing in the quarterfinals a year after becoming the first British man since 1936 to win Wimbledon.

Federer, who was bidding for a record eighth title at the grass-court major tournament, swapped places with Swiss countryman Stan Wawrinka, the Australian Open champion, who slid to No. 4.

The two losing Wimbledon semifinalists moved up to new career highs after getting to the final four at a major tournament for the first time: Milos Raonic of Canada is No. 6, and Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria is No. 9. Raonic had been No. 9 before Wimbledon, while Dimitrov was at No. 13.

The biggest jump in the top 100 was made by Nick Kyrgios, the 19-year-old Australian who beat Nadal in the fourth round last week. Kyrgios went from 144th to a career-best 66th, a 78-place rise.

In the WTA rankings, Petra Kvitova’s second Wimbledon title allowed her to improve two places to No. 4.

The woman she beat 6-3, 6-0 in Saturday’s final, 20-year-old Eugenie Bouchard, reached the top 10 for the first time at No. 7.

Bouchard, up from No. 13, is the highest-ranked Canadian in WTA history. She is also the first player from her country to reach a Grand Slam singles final.

The top three places did not change, with Serena Williams at No. 1, Li Na at No. 2, and Simona Halep at No. 3.

‘Big four unchallenged’

Roger Federer insists he expects to challenge for Grand Slam titles for years to come despite his Wimbledon heartache because there is no serious threat from the next generation.

Federer fell agonisingly short of a record eighth Wimbledon title on Sunday as the Swiss star was beaten 6-7 (7/9), 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) 5-7, 6-4 by Novak Djokovic in one of the great All England Club finals.

The 32-year-old’s defeat left him with his 2012 Wimbledon triumph as his only Grand Slam crown in his last 18 attempts.

His last major success outside the grasscourt Grand Slam came at the 2010 Australian Open and by the time he returns to Wimbledon next year Federer will be almost 34.

Yet the 17-time Grand Slam champion is convinced his strong showing at Wimbledon proves he will continue to compete with Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray for the sport’s major prizes for the foreseeable future, especially while much-touted youngsters like Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori continue to underachieve.

“I don’t feel a huge threat from them. There’s many good players from 5 or 6 to 20. But they’re also somewhat exchangeable from 30 or 40,” Federer said.

“There’s a lot of dangerous players around there. But I feel like if I’m playing well I can control the field to a degree.

“Clearly there’s never a guarantee. But I do believe the top guys are the ones we know and who are still going to be deciding outcomes of the bigger tournaments, like the Masters 1000s and the Grand Slams.”

Bulgaria’s Dimitrov, 23, and Canada’s Raonic, 23, made it to their first Grand Slam semi-finals at Wimbledon, but both came up short against Djokovic and Federer respectively.

In contrast, Nadal won his first Grand Slam aged 19, Federer at 21 and Djokovic at 20. “We all made the breakthrough much earlier than most of the guys,” Federer said. “Rafa was incredible as a teenager. I was better at 21. That’s when I started to make my rise.

“The other guys we’re talking about are all 22, 23 and have been already on tour for five years.”

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