Tennis titans in a tantalising race for rankings

Jocelyn McLennan Roar Pro

By Jocelyn McLennan, Jocelyn McLennan is a Roar Pro

 , , , , , ,

5 Have your say

    Andy Murray has had some success but plenty of defeat in grand slam finals. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA

    Related coverage

    The race for the year-end number one ranking is shaping up as one of the closest in many years. Roger Federer is currently holding on to top position despite losing in the quarter finals of the US Open.

    The new rankings, which were released on the tenth of September, have Federer leading on 11,805 points, 1,335 ahead of Novak Djokovic on 10,470.

    Rafael Nadal’s continued absence has seen Andy Murray overtake him in the rankings at number three after a gain of 2,000 points from his US Open victory. Murray is 1,055 points clear of Nadal with a total of 8,570.

    The Spaniard, who has been sidelined since Wimbledon by his troublesome knees, has already pulled out of this week’s Davis Cup semi-finals. He is now expected to make a comeback several weeks before the season ending ATP World Tour Finals.

    Nadal’s return and his level of fitness will indicate whether he is still a major member of the ‘big four’, or whether it could be renamed the ‘big three’. If Rafael’s injuries continue to trouble him then his ranking may slide further.

    All attention now turns to the top three, and who will be ranked number one at the conclusion of the ATP World Tour Finals.

    Murray will need to win all three remaining Masters 1000 Series events, without Federer or Djokovic making any finals, to have a chance at taking the number one ranking.

    However, the ATP could still name him the Player of the Year if he finishes this season in the same kind of form that he has displayed since Wimbledon.

    Federer is participating in the Davis Cup Play-off Round against the Netherlands this weekend. He played the same round last year against Australia and was well below his best, mainly due to travel and the fatigue it caused.

    That had a lasting effect on the remainder of Federer’s season. This tie is in Europe, so travel fatigue should not be a factor.

    Djokovic is scheduled to play the China Open, a 500 point event, on the first of October. A positive result there could edge him closer to Federer, as the Swiss is not scheduled to play that week.

    The next big clash of the top three will be at the Shanghai Masters on the seventh of October, where Andy Murray is the defending champion and thus risks losing ground on the top two if he fails to win.

    Depending on the results from Shanghai, Federer could earn some breathing space if he defends his hometown title in Basel, worth 500 points, on the 22nd of October.

    The last battleground prior to the World Tour Finals in London is the Paris Indoor tournament, where Federer is again the defending champion, with points to consolidate.

    Everything points to a tantalising conclusion in London on November fifth, in what has been the closest and most competitive year on the men’s tour in a decade.

    Do you find yourself logged out of The Roar?
    We have just switched over to a secure site (https). This means you will need to log-in afresh. If you need help with recovering your password, please get in contact.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (5)

    • September 15th 2012 @ 7:49am
      ohtani's jacket said | September 15th 2012 @ 7:49am | ! Report

      I don’t see how the Davis Cup tie had a lasting effect on Federer’s season last year when he went on to win Basel. Paris and the World Tour finals. He almost always pulls out of Shanghai and Tokyo/Beijing regardless of form.

      Djokovic has the best chance of finishing the year as No.1, but he usually struggles with this portion of the season. Federer has a ton of points to defend from here on out and will lose the ranking at some point.

      • September 15th 2012 @ 1:09pm
        matt said | September 15th 2012 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

        agreed, Federer was spectacular after DC last year. it’s also way too early to speculate on Rafa’s decline. Last time he came back from injury like this he won 3 slams in a year. we shall see

    • Roar Pro

      September 16th 2012 @ 7:57pm
      Jocelyn McLennan said | September 16th 2012 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

      It is clear that Rafa’ knees are not what they used to be and it is clear hiw claycourt season takes a lasting toll on his knees. It is the price he pays for such long ardous and physically taxing claycourt dominance. I am not predicting Nadals decline as a player but it is clear he may have to scale back on his schedule to keep his knees indury free and in that if he plays less the other three his rankig may decline…

      Federer admitted himself that the trip to Australia last yar did him no favours and it was almost a month till he got his freshness back and he made the most of a jaded Djokovic who was feeling the effects of his unbelievable 2011 3 slam season. The next 2 months will be
      good to watch, especially the effect the US Open will have on Murray. Will he now step up or just take it easy for the rest of the year ready for a major assualt in 2013 with renewed confidence and the monkey off his back.

    • September 16th 2012 @ 10:04pm
      Johnno said | September 16th 2012 @ 10:04pm | ! Report

      They have to start the season lata. Rafa is finished. Nadal will drop out of the top 50 by the end of next year you watch. His ranking must be slipping back fast he hasn’t played for 6 months now. Missed a lot of slams, olympics and tennis ATP matches , raffia is finished he won’t be no 1 again, he is past his best now his knees are not what they used to be he hasn’t played in along time. He gave Tomic a lesson now almost 2 years ago at the OZ open Jan 2011

    • September 21st 2012 @ 9:42pm
      k77sujith said | September 21st 2012 @ 9:42pm | ! Report

      It’s astonishing how people tend to write a player off who spends a lot of time on the sidelines. Rafa is one of the toughest competitors in sport and no way is he finished. He might be forced to end his career much sooner but no way is he on the decline. He might take some time to get cracking again but he’ll be back for sure.

      As for end of year rankings, I’m going with Novak, Fed and Murray, in that order. Thanks.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    , , , , , ,