Alexander Zverev has hit out at the ATP ranking system, saying it is “absurd” that he is outside the top five in the world while Roger Federer remains at No 6, despite having missed almost all of last season due to injury.
The rankings were frozen when the tour was suspended last March due to the Covid-19 pandemic and have been tweaked to try to provide “flexibility & fairness to players”, including those who did not wish to play for safety reasons.
The new system means instead of just including ranking points that players have earned over the last 12 months, they can still count on points going back to March 2019 – although some results are weighted.
Federer's Olympics withdrawal raises more doubts about what lies ahead
The extended system will stay in place until August and means Federer, who made his return after 13 months out last week, is still No 6 in the world as he can use ranking points from before he was injured.
Zverev is ranked at No 7 in the world, behind Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Federer.
"I am the biggest Roger Federer fan, but he has not played for a year and is ranked higher than me," said Zverev, who split with Federer's Team8 Management earlier this year.
"I played a Grand Slam final, a Masters 1000 final. The system is just a disaster.
“The ranking doesn’t really matter to me and with the system we have now…I should be top four or top five in the world in the normal system, but the system we have now is a bit absurd. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Zverev is the second seed at the Mexican Open this week and faces 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz in his opening match.
Highlights: Djokovic digs deep to beat Zverev and reach semis
He reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open this year but was then beaten in his first match at the Rotterdam Open.
“It is no secret that my goal is to compete and win Grand Slams, to be one of the best players in the world,” he said.
“At the end of the day I am at a stage in my career, I am 23 years old, I don’t want to play big games, I want to win and I want to win those kinds of games.”
Murray, Djokovic in, Williams, Federer out - who's playing tennis in Tokyo?
'Grand Slams are everything' - Djokovic ready to join Federer, Nadal on 20 majors