Novak Djokovic was back at No. 1 in the rankings as soon as he won his first-round match.
That’s great. But the big prize came at the end, when he won his fourth US Open – and his 24th Grand Slam title overall, tying him for the all-time record (male or female).
With the next one – and who would doubt there will be a next one? – he’ll have it all to himself.
Not sure who doubted him, but to doubt him was a risky proposition from the get-go.
It’s a Davis Cup week for the men this week, so changes won’t really happen except on the Challenger level.
ON THE UPSWING
Novak Djokovic (SRB): No. 2 ===========> No. 1 (Djokovic is not only back atop the rankings, he’s ahead by more than 3,200 points, with a huge swing between him winning without having played last year, and Alcaraz making the semis but defending points).
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE): No. 7 ===========> No. 5 (He lost a shocker in the second round, but still moves back into the top 5 as other players dropped).
Alexander Zverev (GER): No. 12 ===========> No. 10 (After the horrors of his ankle injury at the 2022 French Open, getting back into the top 10 is some impressive work by the 26-year-old from Germany).
Ben Shelton (USA: No. 47 ===========> No. 19 (Welcome to the top 20, Ben Shelton. May you be proud, but not be satisfied).
Stan Wawrinka (SUI): No. 49 ===========> No. 40 (There’s life in the old Swiss dog yet as he gets back to the top 40 with a third-round effort).
Matteo Arnaldi (ITA): No. 61 ===========> No. 47 (The youthful-looking 22-year-old – no, that’s not a typo) moves into the top 50 for the first time after making the round of 16 in New York).
Christopher O’Connell (AUS): No. 69 ===========> No. 53 (The unheralded Aussie lost in the second round at the US Open, but jetted to Shanghai and won the Challenger there during theh second week, to reach a new career high).
Thiago Seyboth Wild (BRA): No. 106 ===========> No. 76 (If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. The Brazilian lost in the second round of US Open qualifying – then left for Italy, where he won back-to-back Challengers in Como and Genoa and leaped back into the top 100. He defeated Fabio Fognini in Genoa).
Borna Gojo (CRO): No. 105 ===========> No. 77 (Gojo might keep that platinum ‘do, because it helped him get through qualifying and to the fourth round of the main draw in New York – and to a career high ranking).
Rinky Hijikata (AUS): No. 110 ===========> No. 82 (Another player who was on the border of making it on his own ranking, but not quite, Hijikata got the Tennis Australia reciprocal wild card and made the most of it, getting to the fourth round. He, too, jumps into the top 100 for the first time, at a new career high).
Dominic Stricker (SUI): No. 128 ===========> No. 90 (A third player into the top 100 and a career high, Stricker qualified and made the fourth round).
Gael Monfils (FRA): No. 162 ===========> No. 140 (When healthy, the Frenchman – who turned 37 during the US Open – can still bring it. He lost in the second round, but that was a tough draw against Andrey Rublev).
Jakub Mensik (CZE): No. 206 ===========> No. 151 (A career high for the just-turned-18-year-old, who qualified and reached the third round in New York).
Damir Dzumhur (BIH): No. 211 ===========> No. 157 (Another player who maximized the Grand Slam fortnight after losing in the first round of qualifying. He went to Mallorca, qualified, and made the semis. Then he won a Challenger in Istanbul. Nice jump).
Jiri Vesely (CZE): No. 437 ===========> No. 297 (Vesely, who is still just 30, played the US Open on a protected rankings and made the third round to get himself back into the top 300).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Carlos Alcaraz (ESP): No. 1 ===========> No. 2 (It has mostly always felt as though Alcaraz was the No. 1 in part because Djokovic had played so little. So it’s going to be yeoman’s work to get it back from him for the foreseeable future. Still, making the semifinals when defending your first Grand Slam title is very honorable).
Casper Ruud (NOR): No. 5 ===========> No. 9 (Not too bad a drop, as last year’s finalist goes out in the second round).
Denis Shapovalov (CAN): No. 26 ===========> No. 31 (Shapovalov was a spectator in New York – support for his fiancée Mirjam Bjorklund. He’s out of the top 30, but expected in Bologna Monday for Davis Cup. Will he play?)
Richard Gasquet (FRA): No. 55 ===========> No. 65 (Gasquet was out in the first round, so drops some points. But he’s back at it at a Challenger in Rennes, France this week).
Matteo Berrettini (ITA): No. 36 ===========> No. 66 (Terrible for Berrettini, who would have no luck at all if not for bad luck. An ankle roll forced him out of his second-round match, and he drops. He’s also out of Davis Cup at home this week).
Corentin Moutet (FRA): No. 74 ===========> No. 97 (Moutet is basically playing one-handed with an injured right wrist. So his first-round loss in New York wasn’t a shock, especially not to Andy Murray. A year ago, he reached the fourth round).
Diego Schwartzman (ARG): No. 114 ===========> No. 134 (The Argentine’s ranking continues to trickle down the drain, after a straight-set, first-round loss to Arthur Rinderknech in New York).
Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP): No. 122 ===========> No. 190 (Carreño Busta has been injured for months, and in the end couldn’t get back for the US Open, where he made the round of 16 last year. Most of the rest of his points are up for defence in October).
Rafael Nadal (ESP): No. 139 ===========> No. 239 (Nadal drops his fourth-round points from a year ago. But with him, it’s a matter of looking for a return date at all).
Marin Cilic (CRO): No. 142 ===========> No. 243 (Same for Cilic, 34, who had knee surgery but has only been back for one match since January. He drops round-of-16 points from last year’s US Open).
THE DOUBLES RANKINGS
A new No. 1 as American Austin Krajicek takes it.