As we look at the rankings with another ATP season in the books, the make-up of the year-end top 20 has changed drastically compared with 12 months ago.
Gone from the top 20 are established stars like Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Grigor Dimitrov, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, David Goffin and Jack Sock.
Into their place have stormed a troupe of rising stars – such as Karen Khachanov, Borna Coric and Kyle Edmund – who are beginning to fulfill the promise that saw them chosen as the faces of the ATP’s Next Gen campaign when it was launched in March 2016.
|Novak Djokovic||12||1||+11||Wimbledon (W), US Open (W)|
|Karen Khachanov||45||11||+34||Paris Masters (W)|
|Borna Coric||48||12||+36||Halle (W)|
|Fabio Fognini||27||13||+14||Los Cabos (W)|
|Kyle Edmund||50||14||+36||Australian Open (SF)|
|Stefanos Tsitsipas||89||15||+74||Stockholm (W)|
|Daniil Medvedev||65||16||+49||Tokyo (W)|
|Hyeon Chung||58||25||+33||Australian Open (SF)|
|Denis Shapovalov||51||27||+24||Madrid Masters (SF)|
|Gael Monfils||46||29||+17||Doha (W)|
|Alex de Minaur||208||31||+177||Washington DC (F)|
|Frances Tiafoe||79||39||+40||Delray Beach (W)|
Significant improvements in the rankings were not only restricted to young guns, although few impressed as much as the fast-rising Australian teenager Alex de Minaur.
Novak Djokovic enjoyed one of the more impressive returns, rising from outside the top 20 in July to finish the season at No.1. Italian veteran Fabio Fognini halved his ranking after finally breaking through for his first ever ATP hard court title – among three trophies in 2018 – while enduring Frenchman Gael Monfils recovered from an injury-plagued 2017 season to return to the top 30.
|Grigor Dimitrov||3||19||-16||Rotterdam (F)|
|David Goffin||7||22||-15||Cincinnati Masters (SF)|
|Pablo Carreno Busta||10||23||-13||Miami Masters (SF)|
|Sam Querrey||13||51||-38||New York (F)|
|Stan Wawrinka||9||66||-57||Cincinnati Masters (QF)|
|Andrey Rublev||39||68||-29||Doha (F)|
|Tomas Berdych||19||71||-52||Australian Open (QF)|
|Jack Sock||8||106||-98||Paris Masters (QF)|
|Andy Murray||16||260||-244||Washington (QF)|
Those falling in the rankings were mostly the victim of injuries.
Hip surgery severely limited Murray’s time on court while Wawrinka was plagued with knee troubles before a late recovery. Berdych shut down his season before Wimbledon due to a troublesome back and Tsonga missed seven months of 2018 because of knee surgery.
The drops suffered by Dimitrov and Sock, however, were more perplexing, given neither player appeared to be carrying any injuries. Yet Sock enjoyed some consolation on the doubles court, combining with Mike Bryan to hoist the Wimbledon, US Open and ATP Finals trophies.
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