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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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Men’s Tennis Power Rankings: Soderling Tops Them All After Paris… 2

Posted on November 15, 2010 by JA Allen

Robin Soderling of Sweden won this week's Paris Masters.

Robin Soderling, whose total tennis repertoire stole the show at the Masters in Paris, tops our Power Rankings for the very first time.

The Swede’s 2010 indoor season proved to be the best of his career, ending with his first ATP Master’s 1000 win.

Soderling, along with many of the world’s top players, fought hard throughout the Fall in order to qualify for the season-ending championships.

As the culminating event of a very long year in tennis, the eight top-ranked men in 2010 will begin play at the World Tour Finals in London on Sunday, November 21.

The eight who have qualified: (1) Rafael Nadal (2) Roger Federer, (3) Novak Djokovic, (4) Robin Soderling, (5) Andy Murray, (6) Thomas Berdych, (7) David Ferrer, and (8) Andy Roddick are almost all featured in our Power Pankings.

Only Berdych failed to make the list, suffering a bit of a slump at the end of this year.

The next question facing the tennis-loving public is—who will win the World Tour Finals (WTF) in London?

Much will depend, of course, on the draw. But with the top eight doing combat, no opponent will be easy.

Judge for yourself as you consider the following candidates:

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Andy Murray Out-Masters Roger Federer in Latest Men’s Tennis Power Rankings 0

Posted on October 21, 2010 by Ronger Fengerer

Murray won the ATP Shanghai Masters.

The three-week five-tournament Asian hard-court swing ended last Sunday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

The following players left with one more title on their career list: Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (Bangkok), Mikhail Youzhny (Kuala Lumpur), Rafael Nadal (Tokyo), Novak Djokovic (Beijing) and Andy Murray (Shanghai). Not surprisingly, all of the winners are featured in this installment of men’s tennis power rankings.

And the European indoor hard-court season has started this week in Stockholm and Moscow. With four open seats yet to be filled in the World Tour Finals, this is a key stretch for those still hoping to qualify.

The Top 10

Andy Murray No. 1 in this week's power rankings.

1. Andy Murray (Last Power Ranking: 10; ATP Ranking: 4)

Last Four Tournaments: Shanghai [Winner]; Beijing [Quarterfinalist]; US Open [R32]; Cincinnati [Quarterfinalist]

Power Ranking Points: 1080

Andy Murray took several weeks off after his surprisingly early exit at Flushing Meadows and then joined the action at Beijing and Shanghai.

In the quartefinals at Beijing, Murray was unable to find his rhythm against a hard-hitting Ivan Ljubicic. However, he swept aside the competition at Shanghai, winning his sixth Masters 1000 title without dropping a set. His 6-3,6-2 final win over Roger Federer was most impressive, with his exceptional retrieving ability on full display.

After splitting with Maclagan, Murray has won two Masters 1000 titles, his only titles this season. However, already 23, Murray is yet to win that elusive first Grand Slam. Maybe more changes than his coaching staff are needed. How about giving up video games, Andy?

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Men’s Tennis Power Rankings: Rafael Nadal Soars Seeking World Tour Crown 2

Posted on September 23, 2010 by Marianne Bevis

Nadal celebrates winning his first U.S. Open and a career grand slam.

It was the day after the Australian Open. Rafael Nadal had slipped, in the space of a fortnight, from No. 2 in the world to No. 4, and was almost 4,000 points off the Federer pace.

But you can’t afford to turn your back for a moment in this fast-changing game of tennis.

Take the last two months. Wimbledon—and the grass season with it—came to an end. The normal hiatus that follows the frenetic action between the clay Masters and London is usually a welcome oasis in the middle of the tennis year. But this year, there has barely been time to draw breath between the clay, the grass, and the hard-court seasons.

First, France celebrated a famous win over champions Spain in the Davis Cup.

No fewer than three top players ditched their coaches: Nikolay Davydenko, Andy Murray, and Stanislas Wawrinka. Another, renowned for ploughing his own furrow, suddenly took on a coach: Roger Federer.

A handful of players had one last fling on clay before the rigors of the North American hard courts took over the tour—and that helped to ensure that the top three places in the Power Rankings would be filled by Spaniards: Rafael Nadal, Nicolas Almagro, and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Many others turned early to their preparations for the U.S. Open Series on the searing courts of Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Washington.

The big names, though, kept their powder dry until the two Masters that provide the test-bed for the final Major of the year in New York.

They reaped the rewards for that reticence, too. Federer won the Masters in Cincinnati, Andy Murray took the Masters in Toronto, and Nadal shared the honors at the U.S. Open with Novak Djokovic.

So, yes, some things change fast. For every Mikhail Youzhny and Stanislas Wawrinka who has gate-crashed this month’s Power Rankings (PRs), there has been an exit by an early hard-court bloomer such as Tomas Berdych and Sam Querrey.

But the more things change, the more they stay the same. The second and third in the world, Djokovic and Federer, who were outside these rankings in August, are back again, ranked—you guessed it, second and third.

And that man who trailed by 4,000 points back in February? He’s now the one with clear water between him and the rest: on top of world. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

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Top 10 Power Rankings: Roger Federer Leap Frogs the Field at the U.S. Open 4

Posted on August 25, 2010 by JA Allen

As we get ready to head into the 2010 U.S. Open at the end of a long stretch of hard court tournaments in America, there are some traditional clear cut favorites who will claim the attention of the media and tennis fans.

Unfortunately, last year’s winner, Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, will not be able to defend his 2009 U.S. Open Championship after undergoing wrist surgery in May at the Mayo Clinic in the United States. He has just recently returned to the practice courts.  This means he will not be up to match strength, denying him the ability to compete at such a high level over an extended period.

The usual suspects head the list of favorites starting with Rafael Nadal, the No. 1 seed, as well as No. 2 seed Roger Federer who has won this tournament five times in the past six years.  Additionally, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have made the finals in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Most of the odds makers will focus on this quartet of top-ranked tennis elites.

It is also important, however,  to consider our Power Rankings, which highlight those players who have recently excelled on the hard courts leading up to the U.S. Open. These are the top ten contenders going into Flushing Meadows.

The Top 10

1. Roger Federer (Last Power Ranking: OLI; ATP Ranking: 2)

Last Four Tournaments: Cincinnati [Winner], Toronto [Finalist], Wimbledon [Quarterfinalist], Halle Germany [Finalist]

Power Ranking Points: 1359

Roger Federer won the tournament in Cincinnati just prior to the U.S. OpenPower Ranking Points: 1359


After suffering a quarterfinal loss at Wimbledon, Federer took some time off from the tour. As he resumed a rigorous practice schedule, Federer announced to the world that he would meet and work with Paul Annacone, former coach to Pete Sampras.

Their first tournament together was Toronto where Federer progressed to the final but was not able to overcome Andy Murray, losing 5-7, 5-7.  The Swiss came back, however, in Cincinnati to repeat as champion over Mardy Fish in a hard-fought three-set final.
Federer seems well rested and well-prepared to compete in his eleventh U.S. Open.

The state of his coaching trial with Annacone remains up in the air at this point with no real explanation as to why Annacone did not travel with him to Cincinnati.  Regardless, his recent play must revive Federer’s confidence heading into New York.

U.S. Open Success? Half of the time that Federer has gained entry into the U.S. Open, he has won the title.  He will remain one of the favorites going into the tournament to win it again in 2010.  That is not to say he will be without competition. Everybody enters to win. If Federer, however, plays as he did this past week, his chances look very good, indeed.

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Men’s Tennis Power Rankings: Rafael Nadal Books Top Spot Again 8

Posted on May 03, 2010 by JA Allen

Rafael Nadal wins the Rome Masters tennis tournament in 2010.

As everyone predicted heading into the clay court season in 2010, it was to be the year of the Majorcan. So far it has been almost exclusively Rafa’s reign.

Bowing out of Barcelona, Rafa’s crown did not move far from its anointed position. Fellow countryman Fernando Verdasco wears it in Nadal’s place.

So far Nadal has captured wins in Monte Carlo and Rome, equalling Andre Agassi’s total of 17 Master’s Shields. Roger Federer is now one step behind at 16.

But there is still time for both to add to their totals and we suspect the dynamic duo will be able to add a few more wins before the final bell tolls on their respective careers.

The Power Rankings reflect the men’s prowess on the red clay and as we all know, Nadal rises to the top, especially on the dirt.

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