The ATP has tweaked the ranking system due to the Covid-19 pandemic, extending the traditional formula of 18 best results over 52 weeks to a 22-month period from March 2019 through December 2020.

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Players will be unable to count the same tournament twice, meaning players will not feel obliged to defend points from 2019 when the season resumes. Equally, it will see players keep points from tournaments that were postponed in 2020.

International tennis ground to a halt in mid-March, with Wimbledon cancelled and Roland Garros moved to September, and the rankings were frozen.

The men’s Tour restarts with the Citi Open in Washington on August 14 before two Grand Slams (US Open and French Open) and three Masters 1000 events (Cincinatti, Rome and Madrid).

So how will this impact the ATP's top five?

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Novak Djokovic (World No. 1)

Points: 10,220

Major titles in 2019 that fall in new ATP ranking window:

  • Madrid Open (1,000 points)
  • Wimbledon (2,000 points)
  • Paris Masters (1,000 points)

The Serb will be favourite to keep his number one ranking at the end of year as he retains the points he earned from his 2019 Wimbledon win until 2021 with the grasscourt Grand Slam cancelled due to the pandemic in 2020.

Djokovic will also keep points from his Madrid and Paris Masters wins even if he decides to skip the events in 2020 or fares badly in them.

He could also strengthen his position at the top of the rankings by improving on his fourth round exit at the US Open and defeats in the semi-finals of the French Open and the Cincinnati Masters.

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Rafael Nadal (World No. 2)

Points: 9,850

Major titles in 2019 that fall in new ATP ranking window:

  • Italian Open (1,000 points)
  • French Open (2,000 points)
  • Canadian Open (1,000 points)
  • US Open (2,000 points)

The Spaniard had to previously defend more than 5,000 points over six weeks, having won the Grand Slams in New York and Paris in 2019 and also the Rome Masters. But he will now get to keep all those points even if he does not hit a ball.

If Nadal decides to travel to the United States for the hardcourt season, he would have a chance to pick up points from the Cincinnati Masters after he skipped the event in 2019.

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Dominic Thiem (World No.3)

Points: 7,045

Major titles in 2019 that fall in new ATP ranking window:

  • Indian Wells (1,000 points)

Thiem will retain the points he gained from his appearance in last year's French Open final and his semi-final appearance at the Madrid Masters.

The Austrian will also have the scope to improve on his first round exit at the US Open and the early loss in Rome.

Dominic Thiem, Indian Wells 2019

Image credit: Getty Images

Roger Federer (World No.4)

Points: 6,630

The biggest gainer from the revised rankings will be Federer, with the Swiss ruling himself out of the rest of the season after undergoing a second knee surgery during the year.

The 20-times Grand Slam winner has not played since his semi-final defeat by Djokovic at the Australian Open and would be able to keep most of the points from 2019 that he would have otherwise lost in normal circumstances - even if he failed to win a major title last year.

Roger Federer

Image credit: Getty Images

Daniil Medvedev (World No.5)

Points: 5,890

Major titles in 2019 that fall in new ATP ranking window:

  • Shanghai Masters (1,000 points)
  • Cincinnati Masters (1,000 points)

The Russian has the chance to make significant gains during the rest of the year, having lost in the first round at the Madrid and Rome Masters and also the French Open in Paris.

If the results do not go his way, Medvedev will still have the cushion of the significant points he earned by winning the Cincinnati Masters and reaching the US Open final in 2019.

With additional reporting from Reuters

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