Djokovic up to No. 3, Osaka at No. 7 after US Open titles
NEW YORK (AP) — The Big 3 is once again 1-2-3.
Novak Djokovic’s U.S. Open title moved him up three spots to No. 3 in the ATP rankings Monday, behind Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, making that trio the top three for the first time in 3½ years.
Naomi Osaka jumped 12 places to a career-high No. 7 in the WTA standings thanks to her first Grand Slam title. The runner-up, Serena Williams, is back in the top 20 at No. 16, after being No. 26 before the U.S. Open — and outside the top 400 as recently as May, following the former No. 1’s time away because she had a baby.
Djokovic’s rise from No. 6 thanks to claiming his 14th Grand Slam title continues his own steady progress in recent months. After having elbow surgery in February and starting the season 6-6, he fell to No. 22 in May, his first time out of the top 20 since 2006.
But with consecutive major trophies at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows, where he beat Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets in Sunday’s final, Djokovic returns to the top three after being out of that range since June 2017. He can also take aim at trying to finish the season at No. 1, something he did in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015.
“Now we can expect him to really challenge to be No. 1 by end of the year,” said Djokovic’s coach, Marian Vajda. “But it’s still far away.”
Nadal stayed at No. 1 despite retiring from his semifinal last week, and Federer remained No. 2 after a fourth-round loss in New York. Nadal, Federer and Djokovic last occupied the top three spots in the rankings in April 2015.
They are also atop another important ranking: most career Grand Slam titles by a man. Federer holds the record of 20, followed by Nadal with 17, and Djokovic, who equaled Pete Sampras at 14.
Some strong showings at the U.S. Open helped several men achieve career-best rankings, including Borna Coric to No. 18, Karen Khachanov to No. 25 and John Millman — who upset Federer — to No. 37.
Osaka’s top-10 debut makes her the highest-ranked Japanese woman since Kimiko Date in October 1996.
Also marking a career-best ranking Monday is Caroline Garcia, who rose to No. 4, the highest for a woman from France since Amelie Mauresmo held that same spot in June 2007.
Sloane Stephens, who won last year’s U.S. Open and lost in the quarterfinals last week, dropped from No. 3 to No. 9.
No. 1 Simona Halep retained the top spot even though she became the first No. 1 seed to lose in the first round of the U.S. Open, and Caroline Wozniacki stayed at No. 2 after her second-round exit. Angelique Kerber went from No. 4 to No. 3.