Tennis news | Rolland Garros 2022, world No. 1 for men and women

Everyone likes exclusivity, being part of something that maybe the next person can’t get into. There are many such clubs where membership is controlled by strict criteria.

In the world of professional tennis, having spent a period as world No. 1 is a rarefied air when you consider how many have played and continue to play the sport at the highest level.

The world’s #1 club* is the most exclusive club in tennis, with only 55 members; even the All England Lawn Tennis Club (Wimbledon) has more and is capped at 500 members. There are 27 men and 28 women in the No. 1 club and the two newest members were initiated this year – Daniil Medvedev on February 28 and Iga Swiatek on April 4.

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When Ash Barty announced her sudden retirement from tennis as world No. 1, she, like many before her who had retired, requested that her name be removed from the rankings list. In doing so, Swiatek took first place by default, but after winning the Miami Open, she officially climbed to the top of tennis’ Everest.

Iga Swiatek hits a forehand at Roland-Garros. (Getty)

“I mean, I’m still the same person, the same Iga. I want to stay that way,” Swiatek said as she moved up to the front row. “My biggest idols have remained the same, they are the same people. I don’t want success to change me in a negative way.

“Obviously that gives me a lot of confidence and satisfaction. But in terms of me as a person, I’ll always be the same.”

But there are positives and negatives with the responsibility of being on top. It’s how you handle it that matters. As Rudyard Kipling’s poem recites about treating the impostors of triumph and disaster alike.

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“I really appreciate it when I have a request about what time I want to play, and they really listen. It’s good,” Swiatek said with a smile on his face when asked what the time was. best thing to do to be #1.

“I really appreciate it…I don’t know. Maybe the freebies sometimes. Maybe I can put more pressure on my opponents. I feel more pressure so it’s not nice, but I’m I’m fine with that. So I don’t know what I don’t like. I really like asking for matches.

Fellow new recruit Daniil Medvedev had it for only two weeks and he liked it a lot even though he didn’t have enough time to savor it fully; one thing is certain, he wants more. The problem is that his fourth-round defeat at Roland-Garros could force him to wait longer.

Daniil Medvedev leaves the pitch after his loss to Marin Cilic (Getty)

“It’s not something that puts pressure on me, because I’m really happy to have succeeded,” he said. “It’s something no one can take away from me. Few players could stand it, so it’s a big motivation to try and get back there.”

For a total of 209 weeks, Rafa Nadal held the No. 1 rank in the world and he took it in his stride unlike another legend, John McEnroe, who has suggested in the past that he finds that being no. uno was sometimes a burden. Perhaps more negative than positive. He didn’t embrace it like a Roger Federer did.

Nadal said he was unable to give a clear answer to what he found to be the best and most difficult aspects of being number one. With his best humility, which is beyond doubt, he said he never thought of himself as No.1.

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“For me it’s just a number,” Nadal said. “For me and my approach to all my goals in every tournament I play, it never changed if I was #1 or if I was #3 or #6.

“So that way, I never felt any extra pressure to be No. 1 or any extra happiness of being No. 1. Of course, when you get to No. 1, it’s a beautiful moment. But then I never woke up in the morning thinking, okay, I’m No. 1.

“I just had a normal life being No. 1, No. 5 or No. 100. In my personal case, I just worked, no matter how many, the same way trying to improve , and that’s it, right? In this case, I never felt any additional pressure to be #1 or to keep #1, no, because my pressure was always the same. just trying to be ready for every tournament I play.”

In contrast, Novak Djokovic, who at press time is at an all-time men’s record of 372 weeks at No. 1 and is destined to surpass Steffi Graf’s all-time tennis record of 377 weeks, says ” Being No. 1 is the best and the worst thing about being No. 1 because it’s the ultimate challenge in the sport.”

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic (Getty)

He says it’s his highest goal every season and being in the era of Federer and Nadal makes that achievement even bigger.

“The downside of being #1 is that you’re always chased by everyone who wants to dethrone you and who wants to win every singles match against you, no matter how big the event (but) I thought used to that feeling,” says Djokovic.

“Aiming for the No. 1 ranking is an ultimate challenge. It gives me more motivation when I face guys who challenge me for first place.

“It’s really kind of a Mount Everest to climb in an individual sport, especially at this time. It makes the achievement that much bigger.”

* the statistics date from the creation of the computer ranking – 1973 for men, 1975 for women

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