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Snakes n’ Ladders: The aftermath

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Originally published on: 30/01/12 10:37

The weekend’s events may seem like a fuzzy dream on a bleary eyed Monday morning, so in case there’s any doubt let us remind you that you really did witness one of the most compelling Grand Slam finals in history over the weekend. And yes, somehow, Novak Djokovic really did win his fifth Grand Slam title despite swaying around on the brink of his physical limits at 2-4 down in the fifth set against one of the fiercest competitors of all time.

Right now that’s sorted, lets get down to the implications of said triumph on the ol’ rankings ladder.

There’s no change at the top of the tree for the smiley Serb, who for all his efforts remains on the 13,630 points tally he came into Melbourne with after defending his title. The 24-year-old Belgrade native can take consolation from the fact that the same principle doesn’t apply to his prize money, which has now rocketed an extra $2.3million Australian Dollars to a useful $35,255,670. Drinks on you, Novak?

After his astonishing part in Sunday’s final, Nadal closed the gap on the world No.1 to a mere 3,195 points after reaching the showpiece match for the second time. There’s no change for Roger Federer in third, while Andy Murray, whose semi-final performance against Djokovic also drew significant praise, relinquished 480 points for missing out on his third straight final at Melbourne Park.

Top four aside, Juan Martin del Potro returns to the top 10 for the first time since September 2010 after displacing Nicolas Almagro, while Kei Nishikori is the biggest mover in the top 20, climbing six places to a career-high No.20 after becoming the first Japanese man in the Open Era to reach the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park.

Bernard Tomic may be getting into a spot of bother off the court, but the 19-year-old Australian is doing wonders on it and rose four places to a career-high No.34 after reaching the fourth round of his home slam for the first time.

Gargantuan Zagreb native Ivo Karlovic is the biggest mover in the top 50, climbing 11 places to No.46 after reaching the third round in Melbourne, while Mikhail Kukushkin is the highest mover in the top 100, leaping 28 places to No.64 after beating Gael Monfils to reach the fourth round Down Under.

Meanwhile, the WTA is celebrating a new world No.1 after Victoria Azarenka won her first Grand Slam title. All eyes had been on Petra Kvitova before the tournament, but the reigning Wimbledon champion finds herself 895 points behind Azarenka with both Sharapova and now world No.4 Wozniacki breathing down her neck.

Kim Clijsters’ last Melbourne campaign ended in the semi-finals and as a result the 2011 champion has plummeted 16 places to No.30, not that that will bother the Belgian too much as she turns her attentions to the Grand Slam titles she has yet to bag – the French Open and Wimbledon – ahead of her likely US Open swansong.

Not the dullest of fortnight’s was it? Only 120 odd days left ’till Roland Garros…

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