Rafael Nadal In Striking Distance Of Novak Djokovic’s 2013 Ranking Lead; Federer Now 10th!
by Tom Gainey | April 30th, 2013, 10:56 pm

Rafael Nadal’s Barcelona title moved him into second place in the 2013 only ATP points standings. Nadal now stands just 1,120 rankings points behind No. 1 Djokovic and with 1,000 point events upcoming at Madrid and Rome, Rafa could very well go into the French Open as the points leader on the year!

Nadal has made an extraordinary comeback after a serious knee injury. The Spaniard has reached the final at all six events he’s played winning four including Sunday in Barcelona.

ESPN analyst Brad Gilbert warns Djokovic fans to watch out for Rafa. “To me this is the meatiest part of the season,” Gilbert told ATPWordTour.com. “You’ve got two Masters 1000s back to back and then the French and Wimbledon… that’s 6,000 points up for grabs over a short stretch, and what happens during this time will set the tone as to who has a shot of finishing No. 1. Djokovic is in good position now, but it still could be a very tight race.”

While Rafa rose, Federer fell further sliding down to No. 10. The Swiss, who hasn’t played since losing to Nadal at Indian Wells about 45 days, trails No. 9 Nicolas Almagro by 135 points. Roger could successfully defend his Madrid title and he still wouldn’t crack the Top 4. And even sweeping Madrid and Rome, Federer would still be behind Rafa and Novak.

Among other movers Bucharest champion Lukas Rosol jumped to No. 22 while finalist Guillermo Garcia-Lopez surged 87 spots to No. 58.

The top eight players qualify for the year-end Barclays ATP Championships.

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and the rest of the Top 10 are all expected to play in Madrid starting next Monday.

April 29 2013 ATP Race Standings
1 Djokovic, Novak (SRB),4,120
2 Nadal, Rafael (ESP),3,000
3 Murray, Andy (GBR),2,720
4 Ferrer, David (ESP),2,370
5 Berdych, Tomas (CZE),1,685
6 Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG),1,515
7 Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA),1,410
8 Gasquet, Richard (FRA),1,395

9 Almagro, Nicolas (ESP),1,305
10 Federer, Roger (SUI),1,170

Also Check Out:
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Bryans Brothers Clinch The Year-End No. 1 Doubles Ranking
Nadal Fends Off Inspired Federer for 6th French Open Title, 10th Grand Slam
Rafael Nadal Tells Djokovic’s Father To Ask His Son About His Friendship With Rafa
Here’s Novak Djokovic’s Incredible Matchpoint From His Win Over Stan Wawrinka [Video]

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71 Comments for Rafael Nadal In Striking Distance Of Novak Djokovic’s 2013 Ranking Lead; Federer Now 10th!

TJ Says:

I am confused. The page here: w.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/Singles.aspx?d=29.04.2013&r=1&c=

does not have Roger at #10.

BT Says:

TJ the page you are looking at is the rankings over a rolling 12 month period aka the “official ATP rankings” used for tournament seedings etc. (http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/Singles.aspx)

The list in the article is only the points from 1st Jan to now aka the “ATP race” so Federer is #10 calendar year to date. (http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/YTD-Singles.aspx)

At the end of the year the calendar year the standings on official rankings and the race rankings will align and be the same.

Humble Rafa Says:

One day I am hurt, 90 days later, I am about to be number 1. Then I am hurt, the cycle repeats itself.

Rogeristheclass Says:

anyway, Roger is champion and king ever.

love you Rog :)

rafaeli Says:

Humble Rafa Says:
One day I am hurt, 90 days later, I am about to be number 1. Then I am hurt, the cycle repeats itself.

That’s because you are human. If you were a bionic man, they could just replace your parts, oil you and you’d be as good as new.

Ben Pronin Says:

Is Nadal going to continue to make finals after the clay/grass court season ends? Even if he has a lot to gain, it still might not be enough if Djokovic snags the US Open.

nadalista Says:

Has Nadal ever made this good a start to a season in his career? No. There is always a first time for everything.

So, we gonna see, no?

John Says:

Winning AO is the best start IMO..

I mean once you’ve reached the level of your career like Rog and Rafa..does the rest really matter…

jane Says:

nadalista, but there is a notable difference, too, given that he started this season in February and on clay.

His 2009 start was better imo: he won AO, reached the finals of Rotterdam, won Indian Wells, and won Monte Carlo and Barcelona. He also reached the quarters of both Doha and Miami.

So he had a hard court slam, a hard court masters and 2 clay titles, including a masters, by this time.

John Says:


Jinx, you owe me a coke!

jane Says:

^ or six beer?

John Says:

lol…give me the beer!

Ben Pronin Says:

What jane said.

Nadalista, you think Nadal can make every final in every event he plays this year?

nadalista Says:

I take your point about 2009, @jane but for 2013, of course starting on clay made a difference, that was the point.It could be it’s a strategic shift, starting in South America with the resultant confidence boost and less HC play which may affect, positively, his physical state later on in the year, who knows….

It’s all new at this point so let’s see how this new “strategy” pans out

nadalista Says:

@Ben Pronin, do I think Rafa can make the final of every event he plays this year? I don’t know. That is not what I said. The point of my post of 10:32am was this: who knew Rafa would be in the final of every event he has entered so far this year, it could be we are in for further/other surprises later on in the year.

Ben Pronin Says:

But the only final he’s reached that’s been a surprise (and just barely) was Indian Wells. He’s always going to be expected to make the finals of clay events no matter what (and win, so the 2 losses are surprising here).

As far as the strategy to be fresher later in the year, that I can see. But it might not matter how fresh he is. There are more threats to him on hard courts than clay. And Murray is more likely to come through to face him there, and possibly win (although jury is still out on that). Courts speed up, Federer might even have a chance. And there’s still Djokovic and I’d say Del Potro right behind him.

nadalista Says:

@Ben Pronin, I ask this in all sincerity: did you honestly expect him to reach the finals of the tournaments he entered after his 7-month lay-off? I did not, not even Vina del Mar, after not hitting a ball in anger for 7 months!

That aside, it will be interesting to see his post Wimby schedule because clearly he will want to limit his exposure to HC but he cannot avoid them completely.

jamie Says:

Nadal will never be #1 again.

Ben Pronin Says:

Yes I did. I expected him to win it, too. To me, the only surprise has been Indian Wells.

It will definitely be interesting. Although I don’t get the sense he wants to avoid hard courts all together. I think he wanted to avoid them during his comeback months, which makes sense. But he seems resigned to the fate that he will have to play hard courts throughout the rest of his career. Maybe I’m wrong.

We had videos of him practicing, so he certainly hit a ball before 7 months.

Sirius Says:

“he certainly hit a ball before 7 months”

true :)

Dejan Says:

This post is about what will happen if Rafa wins Madrid, Rome and RG (and these are BIG question marks).If Novak reaches the finals of those three tournaments he will trail Nadal only 480 pts. So even if Rafa does win the rest of the clay season hard courts will be following. I do not give Nadal that much chance to retain his hypothetical #1 after Wimbledon (where he is not even the favorite).
In any event, we shall see.

jane Says:

I thought Rafa would win the South American clay events, too. Like Ben says, I wasn’t expecting that he’d win Indian Wells, although I wasn’t super surprised that he did either. He’s often done well there.

mat4 Says:

Ben wrote:

“Although I don’t get the sense he wants to avoid hard courts all together.”

Usually and objective observer has to make a difference between what one says and what he does in reality.

I admit I can be biased, but not that much, in part because of my academic formation.

With Rafa, I am completely confused: you have a player who has never managed his knees, his schedule: in average, he has played about 80 matches a year since 2005, he has also played more matches and more tournaments on hard than on clay, when one would expect that, at least since 2008, he would try to play less on hard.

I have never noticed that he had an injury, or health problems before his announcement: in 2009, he suddenly was injured after an unexpected loss against Sod, in 2012, after an ever more unexpected loss against that Czech, what was his name? His injury in the QF against Ferrer was, in my opinion, quite strange too.

His comebacks are quite bizarre too: in 2009, he had 10 pounds less until the AO; in 2012, after 7 months without matches, he played some of the best tennis of his career, dismantling top five players almost at will, an unprecedented feat.

I have always suspected that his injuries are connected, in a strange way, with his emotional state, and an inner inability to deal with losing. He gets injured, most of the time, after uphill battles where he had to rediscover his limits, where he had to get out of his comfort zone.

I don’t believe — I could be wrong, of course — that he has real problems with his knees. I watched and rewatched some of his matches from the last few months, and although I was initially under the impression that he doesn’t slide or defend the way he usually did, it wasn’t the case.

I finally think that there is something fundamentally wrong in his relationship with his uncle — just read his book, and it will be clear to you to. Rafa was just pushed over the natural limits of a boy, a young man, and the consequences are, today, a certain kind of instability, even fear he feels, manifested through his genuine humility. I am persuaded that Rafa is earnest every time when he says that he is not the favourite in Barcelona, Vina del Mar, Rio or Acapulco. But don’t tell me it is normal, he comes from a good family when you teach humility: the behaviour of his uncle and father in matches is far from humility, and, no, no person of 20, 25 years can learn such kind of humility. It is just sick.

And, finally, I can’t avoid the question of doping: I think that it is a question that we have to ask when we see Novak’s metamorphosis, Andy’s Incredible Hulk body, Berdych’s legs, but especially when we watch Rafa, so ripe, so muscular, so intense on court.

Manclusion: he will not avoid to play on hardcourts.

the_mind_reels Says:

At least to me, there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly riveting about what we’re seeing in the singles race. These rankings are a reflection of YTD performance, and the top guys who are playing the most are leading the race.

Nadal has played 6 tournaments, 5 of them on clay, and he’s gone deep every time. I grant that perhaps the IW victory was a surprise, but he played well and, I’d say, was probably relatively fresh.

Federer has played a whopping 4 tournaments this year, only one which was a MS1000 event, so naturally, it’s going to be tough for him to be competitive, at this point in the year, with guys who’ve played more tournaments (and, more importantly, more MS1000 tournaments).

Tournaments played to date (MS1000):

Ferrer: 8 (3)
Nadal: 6 (2)
Djokovic: 5 (3)
Murray: 5 (3)
Almagro: 9 (3)
Gasquet: 8 (3)
Berdych: 8 (3)
Tsonga: 7 (3)
Del Potro: 7 (3)

The story has been and will continue to be about scheduling over the entire year, not a two or three month chunk of the year. Nadal obviously has had issues in the past with full-year scheduling, and we’re seeing some different (and more conservative) tactics from Federer this year given his age, so it will be interesting to watch what happens over the next 2 months. I’d agree with Gilbert that Djokovic is looking tough at this point, despite lackluster performances in Miami and IW.

mat4 Says:

Sorry for the typos. There are a lot of them.

Ben Pronin Says:

Mat4, it’s only fair to look at Federer’s longevity as a question mark, too.

mat4 Says:


I agree.

nadalista Says:

@Ben Pronin, when I say, “hit a ball in anger” I mean play competitively i.e. Rafa did not play competitively during the 7 months he was out.

nadalista Says:

@Ben Pronin, @jane, I must say I am surprised that you guys expected Rafa to win matches after his long lay-off, really am.

boki jaki Says:

That is a bad analysis. Djokovic just beat up Nadal at his favorite tournament in Monte Carlo on the slowest clay court. What makes one think that Rafa has a change against Djokovic at an fast hard court. He doesn’t. I love Rafa but he has never performed well past Wimbledon on avarge the past 6 years he has accumulated only 3200 points second part of the year. While he doubles his points in the early part of the year around 6000. So if Djokovic is even after the French it is impossible for Nadal to beat Djokovic at his best Surface the hard courts.
This is silly article because Djokovic just beat up on Nadal again on the Clay. Look out for Djokovic to win the French open.
He is just to good at the Moment.

jane Says:

But why so surprising? He had 7 months of R&R (rest & recuperation) and he ultimately came back on his best surface.

We had reports from at least December that he was ready to come back for the AO, and then it was only a virus that waylaid him.

Thus, we can conclude he must’ve been practicing in December at least if he was planning to play the AO, and in the end, he didn’t come back until February. So he had extra time to prepare, he was fresh and probably rejuvenated and hungry after that break from the tour. He was likely chomping at the bit to chomp on a trophy again. ;)

nadalista Says:

@jane, clearly you have more insight on what was going on with Rafa during his absence than I had, and that influenced your positive expectations.

Bully for you!

Look forward to your insights on his prognosis going forward.

Good night.

the_mind_reels Says:

@jane: I’m generally in the not-so-surprised camp, but my guess is that those who *were* so surprised would argue something along the lines of match toughness. It’s true that he hadn’t played a tour-level competitive match in a long while, but I agree that he was absolutely well-rested and ready to return to competition when he did…otherwise, he wouldn’t have.

He didn’t win his first tournament back, but given that his return was both on his favorite surface and against a *very* weak field (which I think was smart), there should be little reason why he wouldn’t win these matches.

There’s probably also some slight advantage to making a return on clay. The surface is easier on the body, the points can be longer (giving more time to find rhythm and get into matches if you haven’t played much), and there’s more time to set up for shots (also helping with rhythm).

Sirius Says:


agree with you. Djokovic won wimbledon (his worst surface) without playing competitive matches on grass. So why can’t rafa reach the final of a 250 clay tourny (his best surface) without playing competitive matches??

jane Says:

I don’t think I’ve said anything that’s very insightful actually. Just reiterating what most people know: It’s true he was off 7 months; it’s true he was planning to come back for the AO but decided not to due to a virus; it’s true he came back excited, hungry and happy to play again (I am pretty sure he said similar in interviews); and it’s true he came back on his most successful surface – indeed the surface he is the best ever on imo. So yeah, I did think he’d win in South America. I don’t think it was too outlandish to predict that.

Ahsan Najeeb Says:

Agree with Ben and Jane… No surprise at all except IW where he might not have been expected to win… In fact if Rafa had chosen to play these tourneys any other year, he would have been expected to winat least 5 of these 6… I mean he would have swept South American tourneys with his eyes closed and we all know he has not lost in Barcelona and MonteCarlo for like 8 years now… So if at all there is a surprise, it is how close his matches have been on clay with some of the lesser players and if I were his fan( which I am not) I would be seriously worried that he was defeated by Nole on the slowest and perhaps his favorite clay surface of all

jane Says:

the_mind_reels, had Rafa come back for the AO, then yeah, I wouldn’t've expected him to win, or even if he’d've come back for the hard court masters, but as you note, he came back on clay and against an arguably weaker field – a lot of top players don’t play that swing, and even Nadal hasn’t done so for a long time. So it was an ideal time to come back, get into a groove, and get match tough and confident. Sure some players need to have a match groove to have success, but Rafa’s winning percentage on clay is surreal! He stomped on Ferrer in the final they played. And by then I figured he could probably do well at Indian Wells, too, since that’s generally a hard court he’s enjoyed success on. It was very savvy to come back when and in what context he did so good planning on his team’s part.

mat4 Says:

@jane, tmr, Ben:

I was sceptical about his return, although, now, I don’t know why. Perhaps because of JMac, or Seles, but those were different situations. Agassi’s comeback could be compared with Rafa’s, perhaps.

When I compared his game in MC with Madrid and Rome 2011 (the matches against Novak, of course), I find he plays better now, he is more aggressive, has more depth. He played an absolutely magnificent match against Berdych in IW, and Berdych is the kind of player that can hurt him on hard.

I find it a bit disturbing that no rafans, and it is the second time I write about it, answers to my posts about Rafa’s injuries.

nadalista Says:


When is the Madrid thread coming up???

Humble Rafa Says:

Just imagine a world where your Humble Highness is always fit. I would be the most accomplished yet humble goat, the goat world has ever seen.

But all is not lost. I will get there in due time. GoatHood is my destiny.

Giles Says:

I guess the title of this article has really riled the EGG lover’s fans!! Hahaha! # VamosKing

Wog boy Says:


You will not see to many of Rafa fans (European based ones) posting these days. They are mourning Real Madrid and Barcelona. They have been trashed by Bayern and Borussia. It is all German final.

Krish Says:

What you guys talking about, all wired comparison, Nadal and Joker both are similar age may be a year difference between them, at this age, Nadal already have 11 slams and 23 Masters (leading), anything he wins from now is only addition to his trophy collections.
Nadal won back to back FO and WI twice, no players have any practice on grass, so they all pay and compete, so why this one win from Joker is a big thing, so stupid.

Why this doping thing come into picture only for Nadal, there are other players who dont get tired also for hours…recetnly JOker started playing extended hours…how that is possible, is he not using any drugs? so pathetic.

RZ Says:

I don’t think Rafa will play enough tournaments to challenge Nole for the year-end #1 ranking. I’m assuming that after Wimbledon, his schedule of play will taper off to just a few events.

mat4 Says:

Krish wrote:

“Why this doping thing come into picture only for Nadal”

Ben mentioned Fed, and I mentioned three other players too.

“so why this one win from Joker is a big thing”

Indeed, it isn’t. Looked like business as usual.

mat4 Says:


Those Germans.. really nasty..

Wog boy Says:


Yep, really nasty, I mean to beat Barcelona 3:0 on their home ground and made them look like second divison team (in both matches), they didn’t show any respect for “the best” team in the world .. That is what is called, German efficiency ..

P.S. I will be going for Borussia in final. I lived in that part of Germany (Westfalia), and I liked it, Dortmunders are mad when it comes to Borussia, Bavarians (lederhosen) are little bit too upmarket for my liking..

jamie Says:

Djokovic will not win RG this year.

Wog boy Says:

jamie Says:
Djokovic will not win RG this year.

May 1st, 2013 at 9:58 pm

I am waiting for Sean to say the same.

Nithish Says:

novak has the best chance to win RG this year
especially after monte carlo

courbon Says:

@ Wog Boy: Lived in Germany?Now, you are what I called typical ‘Gastarbajter’….

Wog boy Says:


Where have you been man? Long time no C U. I wasn’t really “gastarbajter” and I didn’t stay for too long, it was already overcrowded so I thought I am better off going to Australia, it was right decision. But in all honesty I liked the place and had a good time overthere, and I was young and free;)

nadalista Says:

@Giles says:

I guess the title of this article has really riled the EGG lover’s fans!! Hahaha! # VamosKing

May 1st, 2013 at 4:35 pm


Quite. Not to mention the quality of some of the trolling, really lame. I mean, if you’re gonna troll, suit up, baby! Not prattle on with some half-assed, namby-pamby, predictable stuff.

Where’s a good ol’ fashioned Fedbot when you need him/her? Now, THEY know the art!

nadalista Says:

Ah well, since it’s a trolling thread, I’ll throw in my 2 cents’ worth, take it away Bodo!


” One of the widest statistical gaps in all the data I sifted was in the individual Grand Slam title-winning percentages. Borg simply stands head and shoulders above all—the Big Eight, if you will—having won 11 of the 27 Grand Slam tournaments he entered for a winning percentage of 41. His closest rival in that department is Nadal, whose 11 wins in 33 events is good for a winning percentage of 33. (Incidentally, I counted only Grand Slam events in which the players were entered and posted an official result. And as usual, feel free to double check my math; I do my best, but I’m a writer, not a mathematician).

The only other player whose winning percentage at the majors is nearly as high is Federer, with 30.9%. That’s very close to Nadal’s success rate, and it underscores the extent to which Rafa and Roger have dominated their group with impeccable numbers. Surely these numbers will change, but Djokovic’s winning percentage is 18.1 (six of 33), while Murray’s is a dismal 3.4 (one of 29). In the original foursome, the three below Borg were bunched together fairly tightly—Connors and Lendl tied (quite remarkably) at eight wins in 57 tries (15.7%), with McEnroe at 15.5% (seven wins in 45 events).”

Enjoy Madrid, folks!

skeezer Says:


You can’t be serious!
Nothing never ever compares to the Rafa butt bots. You know the names, they are-a-plenty and mysteriously everchanging post names. Never been seen before the bounty of the buttwhackin society of pirate bots. Tye culprits are the Rafa puppet kasters, they are the puppet masters of the Troll Hunters ( btw, good flick )

nadalista Says:

……..any sensitive souls out there, please forgive me. I do not mean to get you all riled up with the above article…….

skeezer Says:

As amazing as Borg was(ending his career @26?), and his amazing stats(respect) he never won all the Slams with the stats he accumulated. He never won USO. Wish he had. We’d all be looking back and comparing something completedly different. Same as Sampras and FO in a way……no?

skeezer Says:


My sarcastic post was reference to your 1:22 post, but you already knew that, right? ;)


Actually enjoyed your link, good story …now don’t get all gushy about Bodo….you’re weakening….. Lol

trig Says:

It is strange that whenever there is a possibility for an argumented, factual debate about tennis, rafans avoid it.

They even don’t post at least for a day, which is, in a way, quite good, since they usually post only nonsense, with the exception of two or three posters.

Anyway, thinking about Bodo’s interesting article about champions I grow up with, champions I like very much (with the exception of Lendl), especially now, I remembered the story of Croesus, the richest man in the world, and the advice Solon gave him. It is still to early to compare.

volley Says:

trig, the syntax of your post is eerily familiar. a nom de plume?

Wog boy Says:

^^ You are not wrong;)

Trig, Boycie wants to have a word with you.

Wog boy Says:


Enjoy this one:


skeezer Says:

@Wog boy

Re; vid. Well played.

Steve 27 Says:

Nadal has a chance to be number 1, but in Australia 2014. This year has to be almost a miracle, that he makes it.

So it would be logical that the Serbian equals Lendl with his third season as the best in the end.

trig Says:


Yes, indeed, a nom de plume. “Trig” clearly shows the level of intelligence of most of my posts..

I plan to change definitely my nick in “Master Yoda” if Novak makes the GS. Sorry, when Novak makes the GS..

Finally, that gave me another idea: Novak’s nick should be “Djedi”, not “Djoker”..

trig Says:


One of the best scenes in OFAH. Un, deux, trois, quatre.. Let’s hope Nole can count to four, and is good at maths..

I’d really like to be “Master Yoda”..

steve-o Says:

Since he started playing Grand Slam tournaments in 2003, Nadal has skipped six major tournaments.

RG ’04
W ’04
AO ’06
W ’09
USO ’12
AO ’13

If you only play when you feel you can win, then of course your winning percentage will be higher. Supposing he had played all of those tournaments, and not won any of them. That’s 11/39, which is 28.2%. That’s significantly less.

Borg never entered AO. That kept his winning percentage high too. He only played his best tournaments, and USO which he always tried to win but never could. Then he famously quit at 26 after losing to McEnroe.

Federer has played every Grand Slam tournament since 2001. The article’s numbers are incorrect–he entered 57 major tournaments since then and won 17 of them (he lost in qualifying twice, which the article did not count); that’s 29.8%.

But he’s not just won 29.8% of all major tournaments he played since then. He’s won 29.8% of ALL major tournaments since then, period! That’s what’s so incredible.

Ben Pronin Says:

Bodo’s article is somewhat interesting. But I can’t take him seriously anymore. I think he’s alone in thinking Rosol stole Nadal’s thunder last week.

John Says:

What is Bodo smoking, he included Muzza?

John Says:


That’s an incredible stat…thx

skeezer Says:

outstanding post ;)

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