Djokovic consolidates hold on ATP rankings as US Open starts

Injured Osaka climbs to No 9 in the new WTA rankings after withdrawing from the Western and Southern Open final

PARIS • Novak Djokovic sets out on his quest for an 18th Grand Slam title at the US Open with his world No 1 standing enhanced in the latest Association of Tennis Professionals’ (ATP) rankings released yesterday.

Fresh from his success in the ATP Western and Southern Open final against Milos Raonic, the Serb headlines the opening day at Flushing Meadows where he faces Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

He leads the ATP chart on 10,860 points from Rafael Nadal — who like fourth-ranked Roger Federer — is skipping the rescheduled US Open being held under tight Covid-19 health restrictions.

While Djokovic heads an unchanged top 10, Raonic jumps 12 places to 18th on the back of his run to Saturday’s decider in the US Open tune-up.

In the women’s tennis, the injured Naomi Osaka climbed one place to No 9 in the new Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings, which were also released yesterday ahead of the US Open, after withdrawing from the Western and Southern Open final at the weekend.

Osaka, who is scheduled to meet fellow Japanese Misaki Doi in the first round at Flushing Meadows, pulled out of Saturday’s final because of a left hamstring injury.

Her withdrawal handed the title toVictoriaAzarenka,whoclimbed32 places to 27th in the world.

Australian Ashleigh Barty retains the top spot although neither she nor world No 2 Simona Halep are taking part in the US Open, which is being staged without spectators in a Covid-19 quarantine bubble.

Karolina Pliskova, the world No 3, is the highest-ranked player and top seed going into the second Grand Slam tournament of the year.

Serena Williams, 38, who is searching for her 24th Grand Slam singles title, rises one place to eighth in the world. — AFP