Why Novak Djokovic's Rise Complicates Roger Federer's Ambition To Be Number One
Getting To Number One Will Be That Much Harder
Rafael Nadal is sitting on top of the ATP Men's tennis rankings with 12,070 points. However, he has 4000 points to defend during both the French Open and Wimbledon. If Nadal wins both grand slams, he would hang on to his overall points. Normally, 12000 points would be enough to hold on to the number one ranking but enter Novak Djokovic.
There are two reason that Novak Djokovic is seriously challenging Nadal for the number one spot. First, he is only a mere 400 points trailing Nadal and more importantly he has nowhere near as many points to defend. Djokovic has just 1080 points to defend between the two tournaments. If he continues on his way and finishes at least in the finals of both events, that would give him a point total gain of 1320 points to put him well over the top.
If Nadal let's say finishes with just two finals in both grand slams. His total points lost would be 1600. That would put him to 10470 points which would again be a solid second to Djokovic. Could Federer leap past Nadal during these two tournaments?
Let's say Federer makes the semi-finals of the French Open (losing to Nadal) and wins Wimbledon. That would give him a bonus 2000 points which would leave him at 10390. He would still trail Nadal and certainly Djokovic as well.
Keep in mind that these are speculations that do not envisage any of the top three going out before the semi-finals. In order to gain ground by the end of Wimbledon, Federer would have to the very least put in one final appearance and get one grand slam title. That would then put him in striking distance by the time the US Open rolls around.
Both Nadal and Djokovic were in the finals at last year's US Open. However, Federer has 1000 points to defend in Cincinnati (he won that tournament last year) as well as 600 points to defend at the Canada Masters. The way Djokovic is playing now, these tournaments might be in jeopardy.
In order for Federer to advance, he would have to count on Djokovic cooling his winning streak by nothing short of a serious slump as well as Nadal failing to defend the bulk of his grand slam points. The tall order for Federer would be to dominate with at least one grand slam and two finals plus defend his last year's tournaments where he did well.
If Federer, were to equal or perform inferior to last year's results, he will definitely remain in third place and would be susceptible to being overtaken by a possible surging Andy Murray.