September 10, 2018 / 4:45 PM / in 2 months

Djokovic rejoins 'Big 3'; Osaka jumps to No. 7

Novak Djokovic moved up three spots to No. 3 in the ATP rankings on Monday, a day after claiming his 14th Grand Slam title at the 2018 U.S. Open.

Sept 9, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates a service break in the 3rd set against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the men's final on day fourteen of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Djokovic is behind Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, with the trio occupying the top three spots in the rankings again for the first time in more than three years.

Naomi Osaka vaulted 12 spots to a career-high No. 7 in the WTA rankings following her first career Grand Slam title. She beat Serena Williams in Saturday’s controversial women’s final, while Williams rose 10 spots to No. 16.

Djokovic underwent elbow surgery in February and fell as low as No. 22 in the rankings in May, which marked his first time out of the top 20 since 2006. However, he claimed the final two majors of 2018, adding the U.S. Open to his Wimbledon triumph earlier this summer.

Djokovic became the seventh player with at least three U.S. Open titles and has an opportunity to reclaim the No. 1 ranking before the end of the year. Nadal retained the top spot despite being forced to withdraw from his semifinal match in Flushing Meadows due to knee pain. Federer was knocked out in the fourth round.

Federer holds the Open Era record with 20 major titles, followed by Nadal (17). Djokovic has equaled Pete Sampras with 14.

“Pete Sampras is one of the biggest legends ever to play the game,” Djokovic said Sunday. “He was my childhood idol. He was someone I was looking up to. The first actually thing I saw related to tennis on the TV was his first or second Wimbledon championship. That inspired me to start playing tennis.

“There is a lot of significance of me being now shoulder to shoulder in terms of Grand Slam wins with him.”

Simona Halep retained the top spot on the women’s side despite losing in the first round of the U.S. Open, followed by Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber. Caroline Garcia jumped two spots to No. 4.

Osaka, 20, is the youngest player in the Top 10. She vaulted ahead of 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, who dropped six spots to No. 9.

—Field Level Media

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