The special way in which the ATP ranking works (defending points based on the results of the previous year) necessitates a very careful planning on behalf of the athletes.
From the peculiarities and characteristics of the surface, the age of each athlete, to the trips required throughout the year, the special weather conditions (heat, humidity, etc.) and the injuries that may occur,athletes and teams are asked to weigh a large number of fixed and unpredictable factors in order to better pursue the best possible results.
Several will argue that numbers do not always tell the truth, that statistics do not fully reflect the image of what happens inside the courts. So let’s see to what extent the statistics for 2018 correspond to the picture we had for the ten best athletes based on the ATP world ranking. Do the numbers say the truth of the year that was completed?
With a first look at the scoring and the aftermath left by Novak Djokovic’s remarkable second half of the season, many will argue that the Serbian rightfully finished in the top spot of the world ranking. If fans of Rafael Nadal have objections to this, you certainly can not offend them. The Spaniard, who finished in n.2 of the rankings, has a surprising 91.8% win over 81.5% of Djokovic, who is also missing on Roger Federer who won 82.8% of his matches.
Lovers of numbers will even claim that the Spaniard should have been in the first place in the world rankings, as he also managed to finish first in the year on the relative list of titles, dropping five (5) against the four (4) won by Djokovic , Federer and Zverev.
All this, by only playing all year long just 49 matches, as he finished his season on September 8 leaving the US Open semi-final against Del Potro due to knee injury. In the list of most matches played, Nadal is in 9th place, while the top two spots are reserved, with 77 and 74 matches respectively, by the youngest Zverev and Thiem.
It is worth mentioning that iside the top ten ATP world ranking only one athlete has not won a title at the ATP Tour during the year. Japanese Kei Nishikori finished the season with 64 matches played, without winning a tournament at the ATP Tour, but with the specialty of winning a title in a Challenger Tournament in 2018!
Stephanos Tsitsipas completed the season with 73 matches played, winning 63%, of those and the title at the Stockholm Open, completing his season with a career high of n.15 in the ATP world rankings.
photo credits: Tech Central