Alexander Zverev has done the sums – and the numbers from the emergency ATP Covid ranking system just don’t add up for the German.
Zverev currently sits on seventh in the points table, one spot behind Roger Federer, who has played just two matches since January, 2020 after recovering from two knee surgeries.
Normally, the 39-year-old Swiss icon would have dropped much further down the slippery slope.
But due to temporary modifications which have frozen some parts of the calculation process to make up for last year’s five-month stoppage of all play, the numbers still come out in favour of Federer.
As the pandemic bit deeply into the sport, last July the ATP tweaked ranking calculations to take into account results from March, 2019, to last December.
With the worldwide health crisis still a major problem that system will now carry on until August, 2022.
The traditional 52-week rolling ranking system will not be brought back until at least that date.
The result: Federer’s ranking takes less of a mathematical hit than some of the younger players due to various exemptions and allowance due to his longevity and consistency over years in the sport.
The whole thing rubs Zverev the wrong way: “I’m the biggest fan of Roger Federer, ” he said as he prepared for this week’s 500 event in Acapulco. “But he has not played for a year and is in the world rankings in front of me.
“I was in a Grand Slam final and in the final of a Masters 1000 tournament. The system is a disaster.”
Runaway leader in the pecking order is Novak Djokovic, with nearly 6,000 ranking points earned over the past 52 weeks. He is trailed by new No. 2 Daniil Medvedev with around 5,800 points and third-placed fellow Russian Andrey Rublev.
Zverev stands sixth in that calculation behind Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal.