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"Andrey Rublev has won like 25 ATP 500 titles and hasn't been able to climb much" - Denis Shapovalov on ranking debate

Denis Shapovalov
Denis Shapovalov
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Modified 17 Mar 2021
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Denis Shapovalov recently gave his thoughts on the revised ATP ranking system, and pointed out that players like Andrey Rublev have been hard done by the new rules.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which brought a halt to the tour last year, also saw the ATP introduce a rankings freeze. This was done to allow players to protect their points if they wanted to avoid traveling and taking part in events amid the global crisis.

But the downside of this system, as recently also mentioned by Alexander Zverev, is that it has made climbing the ranking charts next to impossible. Andrey Rublev, for example, has won four ATP 500 titles - in addition to making three Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances - since the resumption of the tour, but has only managed to get as high as No. 8.

In contrast, Roger Federer has played just two matches in the past 13 months but is still at the sixth position - two spots above Andrey Rublev.

Speaking to the media after his win over Hubert Hurkacz, Denis Shapovalov was asked to give his two cents on the revised ATP ranking system. The Canadian replied that the system has its good and bad aspects, specifically mentioning that it would help protect his ranking points at the Miami Masters from his semifinal run in 2019.

"There's obviously always going to be positives and negatives in the ranking systems," Shapovalov said. "And it's difficult to climb because players are losing points. But at the end of the day, it's what they decide and we kind of have to go out there and do it. So I don't know, I haven't thought about it too much. And in one sense it is good for me, because I have semis in Miami so if I lose early, I think I only lose 50% of the points or whatever."
Andrey Rublev has earned the sympathy of Denis Shapovalov
Andrey Rublev has earned the sympathy of Denis Shapovalov

Moving on to the negative aspects of the ranking system, Denis Shapovalov joked that Andrey Rublev had not seen much of a jump in the rankings despite winning 'like, 25 500s'. But Shapovalov did also express sympathy towards the ATP, highlighting how the governing body did not have much of a choice to begin with.

"On the other side, of course, it's really tough to climb," Shapovalov continued. "Like I was always amazed like Rublev has won like 25 500s and he hasn't been able to climb so much. So one side says it's good that you're not dropping but on the other sense, like you said, it's difficult to climb so I'm not really sure. But again, I'm not involved in it. And I don't know what other options they really had."

Denis Shapovalov and Andrey Rublev are on course for a final showdown in Dubai

Andrey Rublev is on course to face Denis Shapovalov in the Dubai final
Andrey Rublev is on course to face Denis Shapovalov in the Dubai final

Denis Shapovalov ousted Hubert Hurkacz on Wednesday to make his way to the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships. Andrey Rublev, meanwhile, will take on Taylor Fritz for a place in the last eight later in the day.

Shapovalov will next face Jeremy Chardy, while Rublev - should he get past Fritz - is expected to take on one of Dusan Lajovic or Marton Fucsovics.

Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov cannot face each other before the finals, but if they both do get there, it promises to be a cracker of a title showdown.

Published 17 Mar 2021
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