Djokovic ousts Roddick, Three-way battle for No.1 in 2008?
by Abe Kuijl | August 11th, 2007, 2:05 pm

One year ago, Novak Djokovic had just cracked the Top 30 after picking up his first title on the Dutch clay of Amersfoort and reaching the final in Umag the next week. On Monday, the Serb will be the No.3 player in the world again after advancing to the semifinals of the Masters Series event in Montreal with a 7-6(4) 6-4 win over Andy Roddick.

Djokovic has made incredible strides over the past year. His real breakthrough came during the American spring season, when the Djoker advanced to the semifinals in Indian Wells and won the Masters Series event in Miami. A few weeks before, I witnessed Djokovic take on a red hot Mikhail Youzhny in Rotterdam. While it was clear that the gifted 19-year-old was becoming a world class player, his net game was mediocre and he had the tendency to break down or go for questionable plays on the important points.

Djokovic was up a set and held match points in the second set tiebreak, but missed some easy shots to let Youzhny back in the match. In the final set, the Serb lost a 5-3 advantage and went down 7-5.

The name of Richard Gasquet popped into my head. After his unnecessary loss to Youzhny, and having the Djoker seen struggling on important points in matches before,  I couldn’t help but thinking this guy could well have gone down Baby Fed’s route in becoming another gifted underachiever. I was quickly proven wrong.

Six months later, Djokovic has become another player. Working with Mark Woodforde has increased his feeling around the net immensely and winning a lot of matches has obviously been a big mental boost. Djokovic no longer falters on big points, as he showed again Friday afternoon in his solid win over Andy Roddick. The American actually holds the best tiebreak record on tour in 2007, but Djokovic was the coolest player came crunch time. Talking about tiebreaks, anyone remember his Wimbledon performance?

I’d really like to see Djokovic take another shot at Roger Federer. The last time they met was back in February in Dubai, when Djokovic was still imploding on the big points. Nole has shown he can hang with Nadal on a hard court, and with his improved composure, he could really challenge Federer, too.

After beating Roddick, Djokovic is now already firmly establishing himself as the No.3 player. That’s a pretty amazing feat, considering it has only been 5 months since the 20-year-old cracked the Top 10. The question now is, how will the Djoker deal with the week-in-week-out pressure of being an elite player? Quite frankly, Djokovic has been zoning for the past six months, if not his whole career on the ATP Tour. The only way Djokovic has known so far is up, but there will come a time when things don’t go as smoothly. Whether it be an injury, or a form crisis, dealing with such setbacks eventually determines how big of a player one will be.

If Djokovic builds on his current roll, we’ll be looking at a genuine contender at the Slams in 2008, and a threat to the No.1 position.

Nole vs Rafa, part VII

In Saturday’s evening match, Djokovic will take on Rafael Nadal for the sixth time this season. Nadal has won the last three encounters, but Djokovic hasn’t been fully fit in either one of those losses. The last time these two played on hard courts, was when the Djoker beat Nadal in Miami.

Rafa is still not playing his best tennis, though he performed pretty well in the third set of his win over Frank Dancevic. Amazingly, Nadal put in all his first serves in that final set, and he was not just kicking it in either. Credit goes out to Dancevic though, who really played an incredible match in front of an electric Canadian crowd. Canada isn’t known for its tennis greats, so the 11.000 fans at the Rogers Cup were surely going to stand behind their man in a big way. And boy did Franky deliver.

Admittedly, I haven’t seen a ton of Dancevic’ matches. But I don’t believe the 22-year-old has ever played a better match in his life, or he would have been a Top 50 player at least. Dancevic was as aggressive as he could be, attacking Nadal’s serves and moving in to the net whenever he had the opportunity. The Canadian showed some good hands on his volleys, although in the end he was just a little too erratic all-around to score the upset.

Judging on their current form, Djokovic doesn’t have to go down to Nadal. Slowly but surely though, the Spaniard is getting better. This could be the match of the tournament.

In the opening semifinal, Federer will take on the resurgent Radek Stepanek. The Czech has been on a good run lately, winning Los Angeles and taking out Gonzalez, Haas and Davydenko here in Montreal. Meanwhile, he has been clowning around on court, getting the fans behind him. I haven’t been particularly impressed by the way Stepanek has been playing though, and he will a perfect serve & volleying day if he wants to trouble Federer. Mr. Hingis will surely find a way to enjoy himself on court, but Federer should hit through his practical jokes.

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52 Comments for Djokovic ousts Roddick, Three-way battle for No.1 in 2008?

barry Says:

why does nadal always get stuck playing all the difficult players while federer gets the cakewalk draws playing mugs like fognini and stepanek?

funches Says:

You’re putting Fognini in the same class as Stepanek?

Come back and post again when you get a clue.

Seth Says:

“why does nadal always get stuck playing all the difficult players while federer gets the cakewalk draws playing mugs like fognini and stepanek?”

Yeah, because everyone’s happy to face Ivo Karlovic in the first round of major tournament.

zeg Says:

I’d be surprised if Rafa even takes a set from Djoker tonight.

jane Says:

rafa had a more difficult draw no doubt – and i have a clue. fed faced no top players: all karlovic has is a serve; stepanek is good but not back to top 10 form; hewitt is on the decline and isn’t consistent these days. rafa faced safin, a former world no 1 who, granted, often implodes, but is dangerous nonetheles; mathieu, a talented player on the rise; and now djokovic, the number 3! rafa’s side of the draw was way tougher – just like at wimbleton. barry has a good point so don’t be so snarky and think about it!

jane Says:

and while djoker is awesome, zeg, you should check rafa’s record against him: it’s 5-1 for rafa. moreover, if anyone is tenacious its rafa so you’re hasty to write him out of this or any match. he’s no#2 for good reason.

ChrisM Says:

You might want to learn how to spell ‘Wimbledon.’ Don’t tell me you say it with a ‘T’ sound too.

Baileyroddick Says:

The fact of the matter is that Roddick will never be number one again and I hope he is happy with being, now probably Number 4 in the world. He keeps getting better, but so does everyone else.

jane Says:

i know how to say and spell wimbledon, thanks chris m – it’s just a posting so i was not too worried about the grammar. my concern was thoughtless and snarky postings. yours a testament.

jane Says:

bailey, i think you’re right. roddick may contest some key matches and win a few more tournaments, esp. with Jimmy as his coach and arod’s own desire to keep working at his game, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever reach the top of the summit of the pack again.

CV. Says:

As you said it seems Nadal invariably gets the worse draw at every match. It is as if the
draw is hand picked to make things more than difficult for Rafa. Talk about luck, its always on Federer’s side.
Hopefully one day soon he will get a reasonable draw.
I look forward to a meeting between Djokovic and Federer, it will be interesting to see how that on plays out.

jane Says:

Luck and more (talent aside) – Fed, at wimbledon, had a minibreak while rafa and others played nearly – sometimes indeed – everyday.

And now in Canada, whoever wins tonight has to go out and play Federer tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile he’ll have had a full 24hrs to recover from what was obviously a less challenging match up. Some of this is luck; some of it is just not fair.

the kiwi Says:

well that game sound like a thriller to watch and roddick and novak djocovic

jane Says:

I agree CV – and it looks like you might get your wish. Djok’s on fire tonight, and so far outplaying Rafa, who continues to stand too far behind the baseline.

jane Says:

guess you weren’t hasty after all zeg! hope djok can topple fed tomorrow. bye.

kamret Says:

The thing about Djokovic is that he can beat all the top players, except Federer. He gets his ass kicked every time he plays Federer. All the top young players (Gasquet, Berdych, Nadal, Murray) have beaten Federer so far, except Djokovic. He chokes each time he plays Federer. Hopefully, that won’t happen this time but I wouldn’t put my money on him.

grendel Says:

Djokovic had by far the toughest draw. Nadal’s was actually easier than Federer’s – on the assumption that Murray was fit which – as it turned out, he wasn’t. Hewitt was clearly a tougher proposition than Mathieu. Of course Djokovic was harder than Stepanek – but consider this: Stepanek outplayed Federer in the first set in the best display of serve and volley since Rafter and Sampras – he would have troubled anyone, just couldn’t keep it up. As for tomorrow, I agree with Abe – Djokovic is in with a real chance against Federer, and in fact is not a bad bet for the U.S.Open.

achilles190 Says:

Tennis is getting more exciting ….with the top 4 players currently and Murray, Gasquet . in the wings and spoilers like Canas Hewitt Berdych…..

People are saying that Federer’s draw was easier than Rafael however…remember that the players Rafael lost to Federer beats in straight sets on hardcourts……

Rafael will play better hardcourt tennis this summer…….and maybe months or a year he will start being more agressive even under pressure………….

Tonight I did notice one limit t his imprvement……I always assumed Rafael would soon have a lethal serve…..but after tonight when Peter Burwash analysed his serve (from TSN) –I wonder if Rafael has not tapped the limit of his delivery….withoout drastically alterring his service motion

nadalfan Says:

i want nole to beat fed tomorow

samps Says:

First as grendel pointed out Djoko had the toughest draw and has come out superbly. Fed’s and Rafa’s draws were nearly the same in terms of difficulty and saying that it happens all(an easier draw for Rafa or Fed) the time is silly and more importantly hard to judge. And in all honesty, I am stunned by Stepaneks’ rise. I dont think I watched him before his injury and he is a really wonderful player.
Also its good that Rafa lost to Djoko because there is so much work to be done on his hardcourt game if he is to prevent a repeat of last year. If the idiot had done that Before Montreal instead of playing an irrelevant claycourt event…Anyway its just the start of the season for him.

zeg Says:


Too bad tired Rafa lost yesterday, but he has still gained points on Fed, and in Cincy Djoker is not in Rafa’s half of the draw.

CV. Says:

Thanks Jane, I will be seeing the meeting between Djokovic and Fed much sooner than I envisage. Any bets?
Achilles 190, you are head on Nadal needs to work on his serve.Djokovic work with a specialist to improve different areas of his game. Nadal’s camp need to employs a like strategy.
Right again A, men’s tennis is indeed looking up, we are in for some HOT, HOT.
Zeg. could it be that you prediction was
convey to Nadal via telepathy and contributed to his seeming lack of will?
Karmet, want to bet on your prediction?
Guys give me you take on this final. Thanks all.

grendel Says:

To Kamret – Djokovic has not choked against Federer. He has been beaten every time, fair and square, by the better player.

But he is young, and has improved out of sight since he last played Fed. Today, he has his first realistic chance of winning. And if he doesn’t beat Fed today, he certainly will soon. As Abe says, it’s now a three horse race – amazing, really.

Don’t rule Nadal out to capture number 1 spot by Christmas. He has hardly any points to defend, and it’s already beginning to look as if the only two who can beat him on hard court – and as Samps says the season’s just started for him – are Fed and Novak.

It’s all to play for – that’s new. Some of the more insecure Nadal fans don’t seem to have picked up this point.

zeg Says:


It was the other way around – Rafa had communicated to me by his game that he was getting tired.
On the hard surface, where his topspin is not very effective, Nadal cannot forever hide ten feet behind the baseline. His shots are way too short and present an easy opportunity for target practice to anyone willing to step up. He can only play defence and retrieve for so long before he runs out of steam.
I’d like to see him playing much more aggressively on or inside the baseline – kinda like he did in IW.
Ideally, on the hard court I would want him to charge the net at every chance.

vicster Says:

man there is a lot of hate in the air. You Nadal apologists always mystify me. His draw is suppose to be tougher he is world #2!!!!!! Let’s appreciate that Federer is a once every 25 year talent. In my opinion Nadal is at the height of his tennis career. I predict he will not win a slam after 24. Djoker I see as a 3-6 grand slam talent.

jane Says:

federer is great but the hyperbole the press lay on him is a bit much (i know, i know, the numbers speak for themselves and so on). they tend at times to overlook the great plays of others by saying it’s fed who’s not playing well, when it’s the others who are playing fantastic.

nadal could’ve won wimbie had he had some rest and/or had got one of those breaks in the 5th. we’re not apologists – we’re fans of the game and want fed to be pushed, want tennis to open up and become more exciting. and thanks to players like nadal who done just that, other players believe too. i hope djok can win today. the hard court season will be fun to watch if there are so many contenders.

see ya

jane Says:

yay djok!!! and what a good speech. zeg you called it. and i agree on your comments re: rafa – points and practice.

looks like us open will REALLY be open. brilliant.

bye all

grendel Says:

Djokovic was magnificent.

He didn’t just beat Federer, and certainly match him in skill, he overpowered him – and it is this deadly combination of skill, mental fortitude and tremendous power which makes me doubtful that Fed can come back.

I always thought the assumption that Federer would automatically overtake Sampras in number of grandslams won unwarranted. You never know what’s round the corner.

And what’s round the corner for Fed has arrived in the shape of Nadal and Djokovic.

I predict Nadal as the short term #1 by the end of the year, with Djokovic taking over long term some time next year. Djokovic will prove Nadal’s nemesis as well as Federer’s.

Federer will always, I suspect, be the greatest player I have ever seen, and I will personally treasure the memories. But I don’t think he’s going to break any more records.

Why should he, anyway? Hasn’t he done enough?

CV. Says:

Its a done deal. Djokovic did the job, sending
Fed home. Good for tennis, I hope Murray when he gets the chance, will accept the challenge and answer the call as well.

vicster Says:

there is no more pratice for Nadal people!! There is a point when one’s game plateaus. I don’t think there is anything Nadal can do right now to improve his game. Remember his game matured early this is like his sixth pro season. Mark my words maybe 2 more french opens and that is it. 5 grand slams is a great career. Just look at courier, chang, hewitt, etc,. Those grinders burn out quickly.

vicster Says:

Grendel, I will bet your house Federer wins the US Open. Nadal will never be #1 unless they extend the clay court season all year. In fact I see him losing the #2 next year. Djok could have lost in 2 sets but I think its good for tennis he won. I knew people would make the leap though that “hey now Federer is beatable” We will see.

grendel Says:

Just read Fed’s interview. I think he’s in denial. “Insignificant” he said. Just one match after all. What can you read into that? Ah, but it wasn’t the loss, but the way Novak won that counts. It sounds really odd, but the fact is, age is catching up with Fed.

Perhaps I am talking complete rubbish. I hope so.

Dancevic FAN! Says:

C’mon ladies, Fed needs to be confident, and it’s discombobulatingly absurd that you would think he’s in denial. How the hell can one deny that they’ve lost? LOL.

Truth be told, he didn’t play at his consistent best. He kind of sucked out there at times relative to the level that he can play at. And even with all those unforced errors, not as good as normal serving etc. he still got to 2 tie breaks AND won a 6-2 set.

Anyway, he’s not invincible and is happy to admit it, he’s a humble guy. Djoker will be a great asset to the sport too for many years if he keeps up his rise and stays injury free, I’m happy that he won. Plus he has the likelihood to be injury free longer than Nadal because his form is less physical.

I still hope that Canada sees more good stuff from Dancevic – his recent few weeks have been great.

Dancevic FAN! Says:

Nadal won’t be #1 by the end of this year – Fed already got more points in the Canadian hardcourt tourney than Nadal – the rest of the year is primarily hardcourt, and Nadal has trouble with more players on hardcourt than Federer does. It’s hard to say what will happen to Djoker’s career because it’s early on and he hasn’t broke through at the grand slam level.

I think Federer will be #1 through at least end of 2008. From there it will probably be more of a struggle for him to regain the #1 spot because he’ll be getting a little on the older side and wanting to play fewer tourneys so fewer points. What’s the motivation to grind in so many smaller tourneys after you’ve proven your greatness in so many grand slams!

jane Says:

Two things Dance Fan (btw, I’m a canuck and so was quite please with his run too – great stuff)

1) Fed humble? That’s a good one!!! Haha. Have you read Federer’s interviews or heard him talk about himself or his tennis? He’s not the least bit humble; he’s quite the opposite. And I don’t hate him or anything; I can appreciate the guy’s game, of course. But he is NOT humble.

Grendel’s right: denial isn’t a river in Egypt, Fed.

2) Why do you think Fed will be no# 1 until (at least!) end of next year? He’s struggled on hard court this year, losing lamely to Canas, twice. He can’t win on clay, except at Hamburg because the surface is faster. And he could easliy have lost at Winbledon if he was exhausted like the rest of the players, and/or if Rafa had got one of his break chances in the 5th. Djok was worn down because of the ridiculous rain delays and schedule, but he might have been a contender there too.

It’s very possible Fed might not even make it to the US Open final, what with Rafa and Nole, not to mention surprise spoilers, and come backers like Murray and Stepanek. And maybe Blake and Roddikc, or heck, even Dancevic will get in on it too.

The field is growing and growing, which means Fed’s chances of winning everything are getting slimmer and slimmer; and that’s a good thing, in my humble, perhaps discombobulatingly absurd, opinion.


nadalfan Says:

hey guys just a quicky how many times did fed lose last year uuuuhh 5 how many times has he lost this year uhhh 5 and at about the same time of year now i agree he is less dominant this time round but i duno i think its too quick to be predicting his downfall

jane Says:

Hey nadalfan = speaking for myself, I am not predicting Fed’s “downfall” but he’ll be less dominant in the next 2 years, and I would hasten to guess that he’ll lose his no# 1 spot before the end of 2008. And it’s time, anyhow, for a new no # 1.

Dancevic FAN! Says:

I think that for someone being regarded as potentially the greatest tennis player of all time, he is quite humble. Consider even this in his hometown,

IMO Federer is confident and has the right to be, and has an ego, but I believe he’s a humble guy. If you’re riding on a wave that makes you potentially the GOAT, you’ll make comments like this. Why not? After a month off of no tourneys between Wimbledon and Montreal, he did well. He doesn’t expect to win everything and that was his point.

He’ll be #1 until the end of next year considering his current points, and his strength in this part of the season and early next year. Nadal won’t accumulate as much as Fed does through the end of this year, Djoker would have to prove consistently to the end of this year to even get within arms reach of Fed’s points. Consider the current points rankings, (they’re not yet updated). Remember points are based on a trailing 52 week scoring. Even where Federer is at with his losses this year, he only had to defend his round of 32 loss in Cincinnati last year which was 35 points. For getting to the final in Montreal he gets 350 points, so for the month of August he’s actually ahead significantly if you want to compare it that way.

Even if Fed didn’t play tennis for 6 months RIGHT NOW at say 7,200 points (he’ll probably have a bit more than that when the points updates come out) in theory he’d still have about 3,600 points – which would put him at 4th place in the rankings based on the current points. 6 months from now is Feb 2008. Realistically guys have been #1 in the past with 3,000 + points. So it’s simple math – he’s going to win and get far in tourneys for at least another year, so I’m pretty confident about that prediction of #1 until end of next year.

Unless you know something else that I don’t – the emotional side, the unknown side etc. – it seems to be Fed dominating for awhile longer!

jane Says:

Dance fan – I’ll agree to disagree on the humility thing; I am weary of hearing “GOAT” about Fed (he hasn’t broken ALL the records yet, doesn’t own a slam – seemingly can’t win the French, so far anyhow, etc – he’s ONE OF the greatest – leave it at that), and I don’t recall Sampras ever being so egotistical, for instance.

That aside, maybe you (or someone) can clarify the difference here – in terms of year end number ones, I was thinking of the ATP “Race” (not rankings), and Nadal’s been ahead pretty much all of this year in the race.

So if he can do well on hardcourts and carpet, and if Fed doesn’t do spectacular, then…isn’t the year end no# 1 spot pretty contestable? Perhaps even more so next year as the no 2s and 3s continue to shine?

Maybe I am misinterpreting this, but have a look:

Thanks for the feedback…

Dancevic FAN! Says:

Hi jane, the ATP race that you’re looking at is not the same as their ranking. The ATP race is only used to determine qualification / entry into the year end TMC in Shanghai. It’s a given that Federer and Nadal and Djoker and Roddick will all be at the TMC in Shanghai.

The ATP race is based on Calendar year only. So at Jan 1 of each year, there is no ATP race #1, since everyone has 0 points. Contrast that to the ATP ranking, which is trailing 52 week.

When you hear people say “Player xyz is the #1 player in the world”, it’s always a referral to their ATP ranking, not their race.

This could probably explain it better than me,

Dancevic FAN! Says:

jane – I understand – being weary or not, that’s what many of the past best tennis players still alive today say about Fed. Despite hearing all of that praise and the confidence that he has from his past few years performance, I think he’s humble, relatively speaking. Anyway, I’m sure Federer would have less of an ego had he not won any major at all until now!

When you hear records like “Sampras was #1 for seven consecutive years” or whatever it was, it usually refers to their ATP ranking at year end. I.e. look at Sampras’ 1996 ATP ranking history,

He was #2 that year, but regained #1 through to year end, which would count towards that type of record.

You’re right that anything is possible, so Nadal could be #1 in the ATP rankings by year end 2007. I just think it’s still unlikely because of his hardcourt skills relative to Federer – he gets pushed by more players on hardcourt than Fed does.

Dancevic FAN! Says:

Also when you look at that link it shows that although Federer is second in the ATP race, he only has 10 tournaments to count towards it this year, compared to 14 for Nadal, 15 for Djoker & 15 for Roddick.

That’s also worth considering because it means that players can grind more to accumulate more points. Federer is at #2 in the ATP race with much fewer tournaments played. If Federer had grinded and played 4 more tournaments, chances are he could be #1 in the ATP race.

That’s the thing – it’s hard to measure who’s #1 even simply by rankings at times. Federer won’t grind as much as the years continue so your ranking drops simply because of that.

Davydenko is the one of the biggest grinders on the tour – his high ranking is part playing good, but also because of how he grinds way more than the average player. He’s a tennis nut that loves to play all the time.

grendel Says:

Dancevic Fan:

For getting to the final at Montreal – but not winning – Fed loses 150 points. On the other hand, Nadal, who only got to the quarters, gains 150. And so it will go on, in the hard court season. If Fed falters somewhat, and Nadal does well, he will be #1 end of this year. Don’t assume he can’t do well. 2007 is not 2006. Nadal is still a bit of an unknown quantity on hard courts. We’ll know a lot more by the end of this week.

Federer is legitimately proud of his achievements, and certainly doesn’t behave as some starbrat outside the realm of tennis. But he’s been the boss for a long time, and it’s hard for anyone to relinquish the attitudes which come with that role. I thought in the interview, he subtly downplayed Djokovic’s performance – for instance talking about his “swinging freely” in the tiebreaks, as if it was all some kind of glorious fluke. But Djokovic’s hitting was considered and remarkably skilful, conducted under extreme pressure.

I may be wrong about Fed being in denial, the alternative being that the match was a blip. I hope that is the case, although it doesn’t seem likely, since he’s been in good form over the last week. We’ll find out pretty soon, anyway. We’re going to learn a lot this week!

btw, I wonder what Federer meant when he complained “I could never really breathe” – now that had the ring of truth, even if its hard to know quite what he meant!

Dancevic FAN! Says:

Hi grendel – whoops you’re right, Federer played Canada last year, I forgot. So as a result of this tourney he’s definitely down.

Yah, the rest of the year is yet to unfold.

IMO he did downplay Djoker’s performance because Fed felt his game wasn’t at the level he can play at.

jane Says:

Hi Dance Fan (& Grendel)

Thanks much for the links and detailed explanations pf rankings vs. race, and grendel for your footnote; I realize that rankings determine the world’s no# 1, 2, etc, and that it’s cumulative rather than renewed each year like the race, but when I read the Faq at the ATP site, it says the race determines year end number one; here’s the exact quote:

“The Race determines the year-end world No.1 and which eight players qualify for Tennis Masters Cup.”

So, like I said, Nadal has been leading the race all year.

I also realize some players play more tourneys than others, and Nadal has played more mainly because of the clay season. I don’t think Nadal is a grinder to the degree of Davyedenko (who may also be a cheater??)

What I don’t understand, and maybe you can help me here Grendel, is the “defending” of points. Why does Fed lose points, because he didn’t do as well in Canada as last year, right? But where can I read up on those calculations?

And about Fed’s performances, downplaying his level, etc. — Let’s all remember that Federer has not had a fabulous year and has made a high number of unforced errors at many tournaments. He’s got all the shots, yes, but his forehand and serve can both fail him, as can his backhand – esp on clay against rafa, who brilliantly hounds him on that side. Fed is stubborn, as Johnny Mac has pointed out, and doesn’t adjust his game plan much for different players and situations, when he could, obviously. I don’t mean on the court, because he can do that, but BEFORE he gets on the court. I think it’s partly his arrogance too.

Look at Djoker’s interview in contrast: he talks about how he learns something from each game that he plays against these guys; and Nadal is always trying to improve (I don’t believe like some that he’s hit a ceiling; he can still come to net more, or at least closer to the baseline, and he can continue to work on serves).

Thanks guys.

grendel Says:

Well, I’m no expert, Jane, to put it mildly. But it seems to be quite a straightforward system. Say, for sake of argument, a player gets to the semis and gets 300 points. The next year, at same tourney, the player only gets to 2nd round (worth 20 points, say). So overall, he loses 300 points (which he is defending) except for the 20 he got for getting to 2nd round – so he loses 280 points altogether. When Ginepri got to semis in U.S.Open 2 years ago, he was reportedly already worried sick because of all the points he’d have to defend the following year! Poor guy couldn’t simply enjoy his terrific achievement.

Is Fed arrogant? Or does he trust his judgement, on the basis of experience? It’s a moot point, no doubt. Like the difference between stubborness and strongmindedness. Thin dividing lines here….

Dancevic FAN! Says:

jane, #1 in the ATP Race isn’t #1 in the world, it’s not an apples to apples comparison. Rather people say that someone is #1 in the world or someone was #1 in the ATP race for 2007. Also the points calculations are different for the ATP race, since it’s not an apples to apples thing. But, it’s up to you if you’d like to consider it that way!

Defending points – because your ranking is based on a trailing 52 week system, if you win one tournament, the next year if you don’t play the tournament, the points that you gained from winning it are subtracted from your overall points. Similarly if you win a tourney one year then the next year you play in it but don’t win the tourney, you don’t accumulate as many points as you did in that tourney when you won it, but you still accumulate points. So people call this defending your points although players aren’t really defending, they’re always trying to accumulate. I.e. although Roger won in Canada last year, he could have opted to play other tourneys instead of Canada this year and just try to accumulate the equivalent of what he accumulated when he won in Canada.

All you have to do is look on the ATP website for the points. Pull up a player profile and look at how many points they win for a major, a tennis masters tourney, a lower level ATP tourney, or a challenger. They should have tables summarizing points on the ATP site if you don’t look up an individual player or two.

jane Says:

Thanks to both of you for the clarification. Grendel your “plain language” explanation is particularly helpful and your Ginepri example telling.

I’ve always been tennis obsessed, but have just begun tracking players and points more systematically, rather than solely watching for pleasure.

I love following matches online and tracking the stats, in addition to watching on TV, for instance.

You’re right about the fine lines, too, Grendel; I’ll concede there (although I still think Fed could be more humble ;-)).

This week should be revealing, as you say. Enjoy.

CV. Says:

Dancevic Fan,
Why use “discombobulatingly absurd”?
That is verbose. Keep the language simple
and avoid the risk of malapropism.

Dancevic FAN! Says:

Because it sounded funny!

Tejuz Says:

The fact that Fed has played 4 less tournaments than Nadal… which if he had won wud be a total of around 160 to 200 points in the Race. He cud have easily been the race leader.

For the year end race and ranking, i guess only the 18 tournaments are considered along with the Masters Cup.
4 Grand Slams + 9 Masters Series + 5 smaller tourneys.

Nadal can now get points from US Open and the 3 remaining Masters Series (max total of 500)

where as Federer can play an extra 4 tournaments.
He choose to play some lesser tournaments in between if he really thinks he is short of points.

Also Fed has virtually no points to defend from Paris or Cincy Masters anyways.

So.. for Nadal to beat Fed to the No 1 ranking, he has to do better than Fed in almost every single tourment .. and i think thats unlikely. He was stretched to three sets in Montreal repeatedly by lesser players until he lost in straight sets to Djokovic.

And regarding Djokovic.. he certainly is a talent. But lets see if he can maintain this form over the course of next couple of years.

Dancevic FAN! Says:

Tejuz, I concur 100%, well stated!

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