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Archive for the ‘Men’s Tennis Rankings’


Roger Federer: How Does He Stack Up Against the 10 Greatest of All Time? 3

Posted on April 14, 2011 by JA Allen

Roger Federer wins Wimbledon in 2009.

In over a century of judging the hits and misses of men’s professional tennis, tournament rules have come and gone. Styles of play rose and fell with the passage of time.

Technology has increased speed, spin and accuracy as rackets evolved and athletes became bigger, stronger and faster.

In light of constant evolution, it becomes difficult to compare players from one generation to the next because unlike baseball, tennis has never been a game noted for rote statistics.

That is not to say the stats were not there, but as a professional organization, no one thought to keep numbers comparing players in a consistent and forward-thinking manner. Sometimes even the most rudimentary facts about a match are missing.

Even today, there is no consensus about just what statistical measures are important in judging the overall careers of the top men in tennis.

The statistics that seem to matter most currently are: (1) the number of grand slam victories; (2) the number of weeks or total length of time holding the No. 1 ranking; (3) the number of year-end tour championship wins over the best eight men in the field, and (4) the number of Master’s Shields won. Many other statistics considered important by the ATP are detailed here

This ranking looks at players of the modern era, since 1968, although a great case can and should be made for male tennis stars who played before the Open Era.

Compare Federer’s numbers to the stats of others with him in the top 10, especially those who have won slams on all surfaces.

These 10 players in the modern era have set the bar for the rest following in this 21st century.

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Novak Djokovic Rules the Men’s Tennis Power Rankings After Dominating in Miami 5

Posted on April 06, 2011 by Marianne Bevis

Novak Djokovic has fulfilled the early promise of greatness so far in 2011.

The first three months of the tennis season pose some of the players’ biggest challenges.

With barely a fortnight to get their hard-court games into fine working order, the first Major of the year is upon them. Yet the Australian Open is just the beginning; ahead lie two months of hard-court rigor, all geared towards a second distant climax at the end of March.

Along the way are choices between indoor and outdoor, cool northern Europe and the hot Gulf states, even between hard courts and the points-rich Golden Swing on the clay of Latin America.

It is a topsy-turvy phase, where two of the most prestigious Masters events in the calendar close a season rather than building towards a concluding Major, and therefore, is often full of intrigue, unpredictable winners and surprising losers.

During the two months between Melbourne and Miami—where this edition of the Power Rankings is focused—there have been 10 different champions from 14 tournaments.

Kevin Anderson won his first tour title in Johannesburg, went on to reach the quarterfinals in the Miami Masters and now sits at an all-time ranking of 33.

Ivan Dodig won his maiden title in Zagreb and there was an even more significant first for the surging Milos Raonic, who started the year at 156 and now sits at 35. He announced his arrival big time by winning San Jose and then reaching the final of Memphis. Although he does not feature in this month’s rankings, he will surely join the party when the next hard-court season comes around.

One multiple winner, Nicolas Almagro, took titles in Brazil and Argentina and reached the final in Acapulco and, while he did not impress in the subsequent Masters, his form may impact on the clay road towards Roland Garros.

For each story of success, though, there has been one of ill fortune. Andy Roddick arrived in Miami on the back of his 30th career title in Memphis and with a 16-3 winning record for the year—and his record in Miami was second to none. But it soon became clear that Roddick was unwell during his opening match, and he made his earliest Miami exit since 2002. Now at No. 14 in the rankings, it is also his lowest position since 2002.

The biggest shock of this entire period, though, was the performance of Andy Murray, who replayed his post-Australian slump of 2010 with a vengeance.

Murray loves the North American Masters and was aiming to improve on last year’s quarterfinal finish in Indian Wells and his first-round exit in Miami. However, he lost in his first match at both as well as at the only other event he played, Rotterdam.

He is said to be reviewing his coaching setup ahead of the clay season and, with few points to defend before Wimbledon, that choice will have some time to bed in. One thing’s for sure: He needs to change something, and soon.

But while there have been surprises at almost every turn of the hard-court road that culminated in Miami, there has also been a clutch of constants. At every tournament they have played, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have stayed the course at least as far as the semifinals.

One of them has been as constant as the North Star—the winner of every match in every tournament he has played since the start of the year and he, of course, tops the latest Power Rankings.

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Djokovic, Federer and Nadal: Playing the Rankings Game 2

Posted on March 28, 2011 by JA Allen

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have battled mightily since 2005.

We all aspire to be No. 1 in something.

For most it means attaining an enviable status like being the best-looking or the richest.

In sports, however, it is being the best there is—like winning the World Series or the Super Bowl.  In tennis, it means being ranked No. 1.

Since 1973, 24 men have been ranked No. 1 for varying degrees of time.  Currently there is a new player hoping to claw his way to that top spot—Serb sensation, Novak Djokovic.

A major shift in the tennis landscape occurred after Indian Wells as Novak Djokovic surged past the Federer encampment dug in deep near the summit. The Serb replaced Federer as the No. 2 ranked player in the world.

Federer can still reach out and grab the Serb’s ankle and trip him up on his way to the top––that is, if the Swiss can recapture the Sony Ericsson trophy in Miami. Federer won this tournament in 2005 and 2006.  Djokovic won it in 2007.

Currently in the ATP rankings, Djokovic leads Federer by 430 points.  At Miami in 2010 Djokovic was defeated in the second round. Since he was only awarded ten points, that is all he will lose from his current total as last year’s points fall off.

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Will Rafael Nadal Still Be Ranked World No. 1 in December? 4

Posted on March 17, 2011 by JA Allen

Roger Federer battles Rafael Nadal for the No. 1 ranking.

Men’s tennis hierarchy is ruled by a complex system of ranking points. This is why players are relentless on court, fighting for the maximum number of points available in each tournament.

Being in the top 10 in men’s tennis brings money, fame and fortune plus an advantageous starting point in each tournament.

Since the inception of the ATP ranking system in 1973, 24 men have held the No. 1 ranking with Pete Sampras holding it the longest and Patrick Rafter holding it the shortest amount of time.

Roger Federer holds the record for the most consecutive weeks at No. 1 at 237 weeks.

Since the time Sampras gave up his hold on the No. 1 ranking in 2000, 6 different men held the No. 1 ranking until Roger Federer succeeded to the top in 2004.

After February of 2004, only two players have held the No. 1 spot, Roger Federer and the current No. 1, Rafael Nadal.

The question is, how long will these top two fight it out and hold onto the top spot? Many feel their period of domination is coming to an end and that there is an opportunity for someone to topple Nadal from the top spot.

Starting with the current tournament at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, what will it take to knock off the current king of the mountain, Rafael Nadal, and who will be able to accomplish it?

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Men’s Tennis Power Rankings: Novak Djokovic Triumphs Down Under 1

Posted on February 10, 2011 by Marianne Bevis

Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open for the second time.

It lasts just a fortnight. But the first Major of the year, the Australian Open, has shown just how much water can flow under the bridge in two short weeks.

With the draws made, the pundits placed their bets, the journos made their predictions and the fans prepared their banners. Everyone had a view on who would take to the court on the final day.

There were column inches on whether home favorite Lleyton Hewitt could make one last assault on the tournament. There was high excitement surrounding the return of former world No. 4, Juan Martin Del Potro. And there was the newly-promoted world No. 4 Robin Soderling to assess: was he really on a par with ‘the top four’?

Possible upsets were, as usual, eagerly sought. Gilles Simon, the proud owner of the most recent ATP title in Sydney, met Roger Federer in round two. It was tough, but the reigning Australian champion forged onward and upwards, and the odds on his retaining the title shortened with each successive win.

Then there was Tomas Berdych rediscovering his Wimbledon form at just the right time. He made it effortlessly into the quarterfinals, as did the long-life-battery-driven David Ferrer and the new-Swiss-on-the-block, Stanislas Wawrinka: dangerous dark horses, all of them.

And, as with every Major tournament, a new talent strode into the limelight to thrill the lovers of the underdog. Take a bow, Alexandr Dologopolov.

But few really doubted that the dominant four of men’s tennis would eventually take their allotted semi-final places: Federer and Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

And, tough call though it was, the final was almost certainly destined to be Roger-and-Rafa. After all, one or the other had featured in every Major bar one for the last six years and they had won all but two of the last 23.

But 14 days proved to be a mighty long time in the unfolding story of 2011’s first Major and, in the end, the Earth seemed to pause on its axis while it adjusted to the prospect of a final without either top seed in attendance.

Instead it came down to the two men widely regarded as the second pair in the tennis hierarchy.

They have been bracketed together for years, yoked by their ages (they were born in the same week), the weight of expectation, their struggles to keep emotions in check and with sparkling talent at their disposal.

And they are, in the first Power Rankings of 2011, yoked together in the two top spots. More significantly, there’s a real sense that the duopoly of the last six years is under threat.

The Nos. 1 and 2 in the world may have to get used to some company in their tennis stratosphere.

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Final 2010 ATP Power Ranking: Roger Federer Rules 1

Posted on December 09, 2010 by Marianne Bevis

Roger Federer captures WTF in London against Rafael Nadal.

The World Tour Finals in London brought the climax to the tennis season that most fans dreamed of.

And as a result, there will be only one story in the tennis headlines for the rest of 2010.

With apologies to the Serbian and French men now summoning up their final reserves of energy for the Davis Cup final, it looks set to be the Roger-and-Rafa show from now until the next Grand Slam in Australia.

One or other of them has topped the tennis rankings for the last seven years and, despite the occasional flurry of excitement as Novak Djokovic overtook a Federer finding his way back from illness in early summer and the musical chairs between Djokovic, Andy Murray and Robin Soderling in the closing months of the year, Roger and Rafa have opened clear water of more than 3,000 points between themselves and the following three.

Nadal—riding high on his best ever season—can now begin to see the super-Swiss in his rear-view mirror, despite remaining over 3,000 clear. Only right, then, that they should fight it out at the bitter end in a bitter London.

But below them, only 455 points separate Nos. 3, 4 and 5, and barely a 1,000 separates the rest of the top 10. These bare statistics, though, cannot disguise the drama that has surrounded the top two protagonists in the last 12 months.

Just a year ago, Nadal had the worst possible end to 2009 with three Round Robin losses at the World Tour Finals. Last week in London, he won all three, then a pulsating semi against Murray and went the distance in a show-stopping final against Federer.

In the interim, Nadal had won the “Clay Slam,” three out of four Grand Slams, claimed a “career Slam” and opened up a mammoth lead of 4,500 points in the rankings.

Meanwhile, Federer’s year slid from the heights of Grand Slam victory in Melbourne, via a lung infection in the spring, to early exits in three Masters on the bounce to players who had never beaten him before—squandering match points along the way.

He then brought an abrupt end to his record of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semis at Roland Garros. And his fall in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon was the first time he failed to reach the final since 2002.

In July, Federer dropped to No. 3 for the first time since November 2003. Within a month, though, he was back to No. 2 and on the up escalator, finishing the year with a glut of titles and points.

So the Roger-and-Rafa drama was destined to go all the way to the 2010 finishing line, as these two charismatic and charming champions first shared the major ATP end-of-year trophies and then fought for the WTF title in their 22nd match, their 18th final, but only their fourth contest in almost two years.

It was the match between the winners of 21 of the last 23 Grand Slams tournaments. And while the head-to-head odds were in the Spaniard’s favour—14-7—the Swiss had won both their previous indoor encounters, both of them at the year-end tournament.

It turned out to be a nail-biter that swung first Federer’s way, then Nadal’s, then back to the Swiss playing some of his finest tennis of the year. The win has determined the final placing of the 2010 Power Rankings and provides the perfect launch pad to the 2011 season for one of the greatest sporting rivalries of our age.

This final appraisal of the year also provides an opportunity for a review of the high-spots of the crème-de-la-crème: the eight World Tour Finalists.

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