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Djokovic blasts ‘cruel’ rankings system

Novak Djokovic blasted the ATP rankings system as “cruel” on Wednesday and vowed to reclaim his world number three spot from Andy Murray.

“It really motivates me even more to get back to the third spot or even go a step further,” said the Serbian, who has reached the last three Masters 1000 finals (Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome) but fell to fourth in the world behind Murray on Monday.

“I try not to pay too much attention to the rankings, but to be realistic, playing three Masters Series finals in a row and winning a 250 event (Belgrade) is incredible success - even if you are dropping a spot down in the rankings.

“That shows how cruel the ranking system is in this sport.”

While world number one Rafael Nadal does not have the same worries as Djokovic, as he enjoys a lead of more than 5,000 points over Roger Federer, the Spaniard admitted to feeling feel the pain of a tour which runs nearly 11 months of the year.

“I don’t want to create any controversy because in the end it looks like I’m the one causing it,” said Nadal, the vice-president of the ATP Player Council below Federer.

“I’ve been saying for some time now that for me, it would be better to have a two-year ranking system; it would be better for the players.”

Nadal, who has on the whole managed to avoid serious injury problems although his knees occasionally become a weak point from the wear and tear his athletic style puts on them, added: “If you have an injury it’s (the absence) not going to hurt you as much. You could also choose a bit more where you play and where you don’t play.

“Today it’s mandatory to play every week and everywhere you are defending and if you lose, you lose lots of points, especially in my case,” said the king of clay now into his fourth event in the last five weeks with just a week off before the French Open should he win the Madrid Masters on Sunday.

“It affects everyone and not just the high-ranked player but any player in the top 100. A two-year ranking would be much more favourable and give some piece of mind.

“It would also help extend the career of the players.” MADRID, AFP



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