Now not Novak Djokovic: Meet tennis’ a form of world No. 1 Peter Heller –

ITF-Events in Kramsach and ?berlingen 2018 image: Peter Heller Image: Florian Heer supplied to DO NOT USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Peter Heller used to be named as ITF No. 1 (Image: Florian Heer)

Eyebrows own been raised when a brand recent world No. 1 used to be announced by the Global Tennis Federation (ITF) on social media final week.

It’s a mathematical easy assignment that Novak Djokovic will retain on to top build within the ATP rankings for no decrease than the following couple of months and but a complete unknown used to be labelled as the sphere’s top player.

Germany’s Peter Heller is ranked as the 589th most productive player on this planet in accordance with the ATP leaderboard but he rose to the summit of the ITF’s controversial recent rankings system after reaching the final of 25K match Nussloch.

In equity to the 26-one year-historical Bavarian, he used to be in actuality at a profession-excessive world No. 273 on the demolish of 2018 – no longer too some distance away from a first appearance at Edifying Slam level.

But as used to be the case with many gamers, his ranking used to be slashed as the ITF revamped their very own system.

What’s took place with the recent rankings system?

From 2019, gamers will most productive ticket ranking parts at Tour and Challenger level events, while additionally going deep in ITF 25K events.

Of us that exit sooner than the finals at 25K events and who are competing in 15K tournaments won’t catch any ATP rankings parts anymore.

Nonetheless, these competing at 25K and 15K level will catch ITF ranking parts and thus be ranked in a brand recent system.

At the demolish of 2018, these ATP parts earned by gamers on the decrease-level events in reality vanished, inflicting chaos within the ATP’s system, while the recent ITF rankings own been formulated as an different.
It is miles celebrated for gamers to own each and every an ATP and ITF ranking.

Warmth, amusing but frank in a 20-minute mobile phone call, Heller describes his fulfillment as ‘a fab element’, even supposing he confesses his disappointment at seeing his chances of that comprises on the demolish level dash.

Heller tells ‘For me it used to be subtle attributable to final one year on the demolish of the season I assume I was 270 within the ATP rankings and now I dropped to I assume 590 and this used to be a tiny bit subtle attributable to if the historical ranking would own stayed the the same I’d own had the chance to play the Edifying Slams.

‘So for me this form used to be a tiny bit frustrating. But yeah I have to contend with it.

‘It’s the dream of every player to play the Edifying Slams. Needless to claim it used to be my purpose at some level of the final season but then all true now they talked about they are going to alternate the rankings system so it used to be extra or less a pity for me attributable to I performed my most productive season.

‘I assume I’d own deserved to catch the chance to play there. So yeah they took the chance to play there this one year.’

Heller had climbed from world No. 778 to inside of the demolish-300 in 2018, while additionally spending his time on the road concluding a psychology stage, but all that subtle work on court used to be undone courtesy of the introduction of the ITF World Tennis Tour rankings.

So did final season feel love a demolish?

‘Now not fully attributable to I will play within the Challenger tournaments, I catch utter entry to the main draw,’ he provides.

ITF-Events in Kramsach and ?berlingen 2018 image: Peter Heller Image: Florian Heer supplied to DO NOT USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Heller won six tournaments in 2018 (Image: Florian Heer/

‘That’s a generous element for me attributable to for the Challenger tournaments continually the most sensible four ITF gamers catch to play within the main draw. I’m in every main entice the Challengers, that’s the coolest level.

‘I had somewhat generous probabilities to play the Edifying Slams this one year so this used to be the frustrating section, yeah, attributable to I dropped to almost 600.’

Whereas utter entry to Challenger main attracts is a plus for Heller, he thinks there is ‘nothing generous’ about the recent system.

‘No, nothing. In fact nothing, in actuality,’ he says of the probably positives.

‘Merely for me that I will play now the Challengers but in actuality I have to remark nothing attributable to there are less tournaments, smaller draw size so I assume less gamers own opportunities to play and so that they even own an entry fee for the main attracts now so the prize cash is even less now… there is nothing generous about it.

Top-10 British gamers in ITF & ATP rankings


1. Edmund (28)
2. Norrie (sixty 5)
Three. Evans (147)
four. Ward (179)
5. Clarke (196)
6. Murray (222)
7. Choinski (283)
Eight. Broady (295)
9. Klein (369)
10. Ward (405)


1. Draper (seventy five)
2. Hoyt (89)
Three. Glasspool (109)
four. McHugh (160)
5. Peniston (216)
6. Choinsk (226)
7. Whitehouse (243)
Eight. Watson (262)
9. Findel-Hawkins (296)
10. Clarke (311)

‘You additional or less have to peek at each and every rankings. Whenever you happen to derive ITF parts it doesn’t lend a hand you to for the ATP ranking. It be a have to to be excessive ample within the ITF ranking to catch the chance to catch ATP parts.

‘That’s the irregular element attributable to you can must be excessive ample within the ITF ranking after which you own gotten to launch from zero within the ATP ranking so that’s the shitty element, yeah.’

Issues are build to catch even worse for decrease-ranked gamers in 2020, with the final few final ATP parts build to be fully removed from all ITF events.

‘They talked about it but I don’t know,’ Heller continues. ‘Perhaps they are going to alternate one thing attributable to I heard a form of gamers are protesting in opposition to it so possibly they hearken to the gamers and so that they alternate one thing. I don’t know… I’m hoping so!’

Heller is no longer alone in his concerns. A petition campaigning in opposition to the rule of thumb changes has been signed by appropriate over eleven,000 other folks on the time of writing.

Peter Heller fact file

Age: 26
Nationality: German
ATP ranking: 589
ITF ranking: 2

ITF-Events in Kramsach and ?berlingen 2018 image: Peter Heller Image: Florian Heer supplied to DO NOT USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Heller’s ranking used to be slashed (Image: Florian Heer/

The German has no longer been contacted by anybody from the ITF regarding the system and requested if any player he’s talked about it with has spoken positively of it, he chuckles: ‘No. Now not essentially. No person.’

Given the recent ITF rankings are of their infancy, it’s possibly tiny surprise that Heller has slipped off his perch as the demolish-ranked player already, with Spain’s Oriol Roca Battalla leapfrogging him to changed into the 1/Three No. 1 inside of the main month-and-a-1/2 of the one year.

Some witty commentators on social media had joked tennis’ recent dual-system rankings felt love a shift in opposition to boxing, the build there is a separate leaderboard for every and every of the four heavyweight belts.

Heller would surely lap up the different of a unification match with ATP No. 1 Djokovic.

‘To play a match in opposition to him? It’d be unbelievable, unnecessary to claim,’ he says. ‘It’d be a extremely shaggy dog story if I may perchance perchance play a match in opposition to him.

A heavyweight bout with Djokovic looks no longer going (Image: AFP/Getty)

‘I assume it’d be subtle to play in opposition to him but would be a form of fun and naturally a immense journey to play in opposition to this form of immense player.’

In fact, except the ATP and ITF can receive a rare – and on this occasion a tiny bit uncommon – portion of celebrated ground then it looks Heller’s most productive shot at taking on the 15-time Edifying Slam champion would be to climb help up the ATP rankings and power his manner into the main draw of a Slam.

‘I level-headed own my needs to play on the Edifying Slams,’ he concludes. ‘I have to be round 250 on this planet rankings. I will try my most productive to catch up again. Confidently subsequent one year I will play the Edifying Slams qualifying.

‘Here is my purpose, I have to construct my most productive.’

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