Nadal up to No. 2; Djokovic slides to No. 4, worst since ’09

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PARIS (AP) French Open champion Rafael Nadal moved up two spots to No. 2 in the ATP rankings on Monday, his highest placing since October 2014.

Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, slid from No. 2 to No. 4 in the new rankings, his lowest status in 7+ years. He lost in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, where he won the title a year ago to complete a career Grand Slam. That was also his fourth consecutive major championship, but he failed to defend any of those titles.

Andy Murray retained his No. 1 ranking after a semifinal exit in Paris, while Stan Wawrinka stayed at No. 3 after losing to Nadal 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in Sunday’s final.

Roger Federer is still No. 5 after missing the French Open for the second year in a row.

Nadal’s victory in Paris gave him a record 10th trophy at the clay-court tournament and ended his three-year drought without a Grand Slam title. He now has 15 major titles, breaking a tie with Pete Sampras for second place among men on the all-time list behind Federer’s 18.

Nadal was asked Sunday whether getting back to No. 1 in the rankings is important to him. He has spent a total of 141 weeks there, most recently in July 2014.

“I am playing well. I am in a good position. I just won the most important event of the year for me, so that’s the only thing that matters today, no?” he said. “Winning these kind of titles, then you have chances to become any number (in) the ranking.”

By winning the women’s championship at the French Open on Saturday for the first tour-level title of her career, Jelena Ostapenko jumped from 47th to a career-high 12th in the WTA rankings. The Latvian, who turned 20 during the tournament, lost in the first round a year ago at Roland Garros.

French Open runner-up Simona Halep moved from No. 4 to No. 2.

Angelique Kerber kept the No. 1 spot, despite being beaten in the first round in Paris. She is the first woman seeded No. 1 to lose in the French Open’s first round in the professional era, which began in 1968.

Serena Williams dropped two spots to No. 4. She is taking the rest of this year off because she is pregnant.

Elina Svitolina, a quarterfinalist at the French Open, rose one spot to a career-high No. 5.

Novak Djokovic to start 2023 in Adelaide ahead of Australian Open

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MELBOURNE, Australia – Novak Djokovic will open his 2023 campaign in Adelaide as he prepares for a shot at a 10th Australian Open crown a year after having his visa revoked on the eve of his title defense.

The 21-time major winner has been granted a visa by the Australian government and has been listed to play at the Adelaide International, which starts Jan. 1.

Serbia isn’t contesting the inaugural United Cup team competition, leaving Djokovic free to play regular warmup tournaments head of the Jan. 16-29 Australian Open.

He’ll be joined in the men’s draw at Adelaide by Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada and Andy Murray.

Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka will headline the women’s draw.

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles last month confirmed Djokovic had been granted a visa to compete in Australia in January. The 35-year-old Serbian had been facing a possible three-year ban after being deported last January over his stance against COVID-19 vaccination.

Djokovic has won the Australian Open a record nine times, including the last three times he played. Rafael Nadal won this year’s title in Djokovic’s absence.

Djokovic was not vaccinated against COVID-19 when he arrived in Melbourne ahead of the 2022 tournament, but Australia has since lifted strict rules for unvaccinated travelers.

Karolina Pliskova reuniting with Sascha Bajin

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Two-time Grand Slam finalist Karolina Pliskova is reuniting with coach Sascha Bajin ahead of the 2023 season.

Pliskova posted on her website and her Twitter account about the move, which comes about six months after she and Bajin stopped working together. The pair originally teamed up in November 2020.

While Bajin was her coach, Pliskova reached the final at Wimbledon in 2021 before losing to champion Ash Barty. Pliskova also was the runner-up at the 2016 U.S. Open, where she defeated Serena Williams in the semifinals before being beat by Angelique Kerber for the trophy.

After splitting from Bajin in July, Pliskova was coached by Leos Friedl. Their results together included a quarterfinal run at the U.S. Open.

Bajin has worked as a coach or hitting partner with several top tennis players, including Grand Slam title winners Williams, Naomi Osaka, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki.

“Thank you for having me back,” Bajin wrote on Twitter. “Let’s go get it.”

Pliskova is a 30-year-old from the Czech Republic who reached No. 1 in the WTA rankings in 2017 and finished this season at No. 31 after going 21-21 with no titles.

Her team also includes fitness specialist Jez Green and physiotherapist Martin Salvador.

Next year’s first Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open, begins Jan. 16.