FedEx ATP Rankings Set For Shake-up In Indian Wells
Editor's Note: The BNP Paribas Open will not be held as scheduled due to coronavirus concerns.
Many eyes will be on the battle for World No. 1 during the BNP Paribas Open, as Novak Djokovic tries to maintain the top spot, and World No. 2 Rafael Nadal attempts to take it from him. But there will be plenty of opportunities for Top 20 shake-ups in Indian Wells.
Seven of the Top 20 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings will be defending 10 points or less at the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the year. Another six Top 20 players are only defending 45 points in the desert, so a deep run for those competitors could pay big dividends.
World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev, who reached a tour-leading nine finals last season, maintained his momentum by winning seven of his first eight matches in 2020. He’s cooled down since, losing three of his past four, but the Russian has a chance to turn it around at Indian Wells, where he is defending only 45 points.
Medvedev could potentially return to his career-high No. 4 with a strong performance in the desert. When 2019 Indian Wells points drop, Medvedev will trail Roger Federer by 185 points. Sidelined after right knee surgery, Federer will be unable to defend the 600 points he earned by reaching last year's final, giving two-time Masters 1000 champion Medvedev the opportunity to overtake the Swiss by reaching the semis.
Defending champion Dominic Thiem, the World No. 3, currently has 7,045 points. He will drop 1,000 points, which could potentially put him within Medvedev's reach depending on both of their performances at Indian Wells.
Current Top 5 - FedEx ATP Rankings
|1. Novak Djokovic||10,220|
|2. Rafael Nadal||9,850|
|3. Dominic Thiem||7,045|
|4. Roger Federer||6,630|
|5. Daniil Medvedev||5,890|
Reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas (10), Australian Open semi-finalist Alexander Zverev (45), Matteo Berrettini (10) and David Goffin (10) are the other Top 10 players defending 45 points or less at the BNP Paribas Open.
Tsitsipas, who enters Indian Wells with 4,745 points and Zverev, who has 3,630 points, cannot climb higher in the FedEx ATP Rankings regardless of how well they perform. But they could put a gap between themselves and the other Top 10 players behind them.
One player arriving in California in tremendous form is World No. 9 Gael Monfils. Although he has the same number of points as Berrettini (2,860), the Frenchman will be made to work to surpass the Italian. Monfils, who is 16-3 on the season after reaching the Dubai semi-finals, advanced to the Indian Wells quarter-finals last year. He is defending 180 points at this event.
Since Berrettini is only defending 10, he has a 170-point advantage over this year’s Montpellier and Rotterdam champion.
An interesting battle could shake up for World No. 10. With 10 2019 Indian Wells points dropping, World No. 10 David Goffin will lead World No. 11 Fabio Fognini by 155 points and World No. 12 Roberto Bautista Agut by 195 points. A big performance by Fognini or Bautista Agut could see either man make a jump.
It will also be a critical event for World No. 15 Karen Khachanov, a 2019 quarter-finalist who is defending 180 points. If he earns an equal or lesser result compared to Denis Shapovalov and Stan Wawrinka, they will leapfrog him on 23 March. Others including Cristian Garin and Grigor Dimitrov are also within striking range, as neither man competed in Indian Wells last year.
World No. 29 Hubert Hurkacz, No. 30 Milos Raonic and No. 47 Miomir Kecmanovic all have a large chunk of points to defend, leaving open the possibility they could drop several spots if they don't retain those points. Hurkacz and Kecmanovic both made the quarter-finals (180 points) last year, and Raonic reached the semi-finals (360 points).