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FEATURE: What were the ATP rankings the last time no Big Three were in the top two?

Today marks the first day since November 2003 that no 'Big Three' players have been in the top two of the world rankings. So what did men's tennis even look like then?
Lleyton Hewitt top of the AT rankings in November 2003

In many ways, this week in men’s tennis is just like any other. I mean, Rafael Nadal is the French Open champion, Novak Djokovic is the Wimbledon favourite, and Andy Murray is injured. Nadal and Djokovic are still prominent in the ATP top ten too.

It’s actually quite a landmark one, though, because it is the first week in nearly 19 years – YEARS – that one of the ‘Big Three’ of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have not been one of the top two players in the ATP world rankings.

Djokovic has dropped the number three behind Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev, so we thought we’d take a look at what the top ten actually looked like back in November 2003.

Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi were in the top two, which will not really surprise anyone.

There are a couple of current prominent coaches on the ATP Tour in there too. Juan Carlos Ferrero, who is masterminding Carlos Alcaraz’s rise was the world number three, with compatriot Carlos Moya, who is Nadal’s coach, also in the top five. A 21-year-old Federer split those two Spaniards.

Andy Roddick, who was even younger, was at number six, and Russian ATP Cup captain Marat Safin was also a prominent figure.

Jiri Novak, Albert Costa and David Nalbandian completed the top ten.

ATP Rankings -Top Ten: November 16, 2003

1: Lleyton Hewitt – 4,630

2: Andre Agassi – 4,300

3: Juan Carlos Ferrero – 3,105

4: Roger Federer – 2,780

5: Carlos Moya – 2,555

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6: Andy Roddick – 2,275

7: Marat Safin – 2,235

8: Jiri Novak – 2,021

9: Albert Costa – 2,015

10: David Nalbandian – 1,980

There were plenty of other notable players just below them in the rankings too.

Eurosport punditry duo Tim Henman (13) and Alex Corretja (17) were both in there. They were in their late 20s at the time.

Pete Sampras was still in there too at world number 16, and he was joined by other former world number ones Yevgeny Kafelnikov (23) and Gustavo Kuerten (24).

There were also a couple of current tournament directors on the list, too. Tommy Haas, who runs Indian Wells was the world number 19 at the time, and his Miami Open counterpart James Blake was at 25.

While Novak Djokovic is facing a rankings slide, which is largely down to not being able, or allowed, to play defend his points, Rafael Nadal could make this a short-lived hiatus from Big Three dominance.

He will be unaffected by the loss of Wimbledon rankings points and did not play the US hardcourt season last year either, so if his foot injury holds up he will be in a good position to cash in.

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