Federer Four and Falling

With Andy Murray into the final of the Shanghai Masters a lot of tennis talk has turned to the rankings. If the British defending champion salutes again in China he will talk over the world number three ranking from Roger Federer. If Murray wins it will be the first time that the Swiss superstar will be ranked below three for the first since June 23 2003, just before he won his first of his 16 majors, 2003 Wimbledon.

This seems to come as a shock to some as tweeted by the Sydney Morning Herald last night, “Roger Federer could be #4 in the world if Andy Murray wins the Shanghai Masters tomorow … it wouldn’t seem right”, but if you look at the facts and figures it doesn’t seem that unusual.

Novak Djokovic has dominated this season winning three grand slams and only losing only three matches for season and is a deserved world number one.

Rafael Nadal, after a stellar 2010 where he picked up three grand slams, has had a disappointing year by his lofty standards, but still claimed the French Open title and was a finalist at Wimbledon and the US Open. The Spaniard has also won the most matches on tour this year with a 65-12 win-loss record but has only picked up three titles, at Roland Garros, Barcelona and the Monte Carlo Masters, though he has been runner up to the Djokovic in four Masters events.

Andy Murray is entering his second Masters final this season looking for his second Masters title after defeating Novak Djokovic in the Cincinnati final. The Brit has won four titles this year as well and has made a grand slam final this season in Melbourne, losing to Djokovic and has bowed out in the last three Grand Slam semi finals losing each time to Nadal.

Where is Federer supposed to be?

Comparatively Federer’s grand slam success stacks up to his nearest rivals, he has made one grand slam final, losing to Nadal at the French after beating Djokovic in the semi, and has made the semis the Australian and US Open and the quarters of Wimbledon. But it is throughout the remainder of the events that his form wanes. He has only made three finals, including the French for the year, in Doha, which he won, in the first tournament of the year and in Dubai in February when he lost to Djokovic in the semis. Currently Federer is out resting and is unlikely to play again to the World Tour Finals, or perhaps the Masters event in Paris and in the meantime his nearest opponent has won two tournament and in the final of another.

Yes you would think he is a long way above world number five, the other Shanghai finalist David Ferrer, but the Spanish number two has won more titles than the Swiss this year and has made two more Masters finals, and is only 885 points behind Federer in the ATP race, something that could easily disappear if Federer doesn’t appear in Paris.

Sure Federer can still come back from this season but it as he get’s older it becomes harder and harder. Roger hasn’t been number two since early March this year or number one since May of last year and if the current form continues this his ranking will only continue to slide.


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