Rafael Nadal Could Lose His No. 1 Ranking To Novak Djokovic Next Week At Madrid
by Staff | May 2nd, 2014, 9:31 am

Rafael Nadal’s hold on the No. 1 ranking could come to end next week at the Madrid Masters. The Spaniard who has held the top spot on the tour since October 7, 2013, is defending his title points at the event from last year. And according to the ATP, if Nadal slips early on the clay the door would be open for Novak Djokovic to return to No. 1.

Specifically, if Nadal doesn’t make the quarterfinals and Djokovic wins Madrid, Djokovic would become No. 1 a week from Monday. However, if Nadal reached the quarterfinals he will maintain his No. 1 ranking entering Rome.

Nadal is defending 1,000 ranking points from his Madrid win over Stanislas Wawrinka last year. Djokovic lost in his first match to Grigor Dimitrov.

After consecutive quarterfinal losses the last two Fridays at Monte Carlo and Barcelona, Nadal is hoping to bounce back in Madrid.

“Spain is my home country and every time I play in any of the tournaments held here I feel something special. We are at home, in front of our fans, with our people,” Nadal siad. “Well, it’s a special feeling, and is difficult to put it into words.”

You Might Like:
Novak Djokovic Withdraws From Madrid Due To Right Wrist Injury
Andy Murray Withdraws From Madrid Due To A Back Injury
Rafael Nadal: I’m Not Happy How I Played the Madrid Final [Video]
Federer Pulls from Stockholm, Return Uncertain; Nadal Nears No. 1
Safina Wins 2nd Straight Title at WTA Madrid

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

39 Comments for Rafael Nadal Could Lose His No. 1 Ranking To Novak Djokovic Next Week At Madrid

James Says:

I don’t see it happening in Madrid. Apart from 2011, Djokovic hasn’t done that well in the Spanish capital. But I think Novak will get back the #1 ranking by French Open. Or Rome if Nadal continues to lose early.
Then he could lose it again after Wimbledon as Nadal has a lot of points to gain.

Giles Says:

Nah, not gonna happen in Madrid!!
Vamos Champ!

RZ Says:

Rafa hasn’t done as well at Madrid as he has at the other clay court tournaments, but I don’t see him losing before the quarters, and I don’t see Djokovic winning the title after his recent wrist injury, so Rafa will hold onto the #1 ranking.

I’m interested to see how Wawrinka will do there and whether he can defend those finalist points.

bbsocrates Says:

If Djokovic takes #1 after Madrid, consider last 4 grand slam results:
Nadal – F (Aus), W (US), 1st (WIM), W (Fr)
Djokovic – QF (Aus), F (US), F (WIM), SF (Fr)

Given Nadal’s superior results, shouldn’t rankings be more weighted to Grand Slams?

the DA Says:

LOL. I just saw first tweets about the Madrid draw. Federer’s projected path to the final is: Bye, Simon or Paire, Tsonga, Murray, Nadal, Djokovic. Awaiting to see the horror that will be Andy’s projected path.

Daniel Says:


If this indeed happen Djoko will have 5 Masters titles plus WTF compared to Nadal 3 Masters titles. He would make up for the difference in Slams.

#1 ranking is about consistancy all year long. Of the past 8 motnhs Djoko is the better player wtih more points. Nadal acumulated the bulk of his points from Madrid 2013 to US Open 2013 a soam of 4 motnhs where he holds 8000 pts. Only tounrament he can make points is Wimbledon other than that any he does’t defend his points will drop.
Maybe this willbe just the wake up callhe needs.

the DA Says:

Another big LOL. Andy’s first opponent might be Almagro. It’s so hard to get info about this draw. From the looks of it Nole fans should be (cautiously) pleased.

Margot Says:

@The DA
Yep! Andy’s draw really is horrible. Amalgro potentially his first match Round 2. :(
Fed and Rafa his side.

the DA Says:

@Margot – Yes, I just got his projected path: Bye R2: Almagro/Qualifier R3: Tsonga/Hewitt QF: Federer SF: Nadal F: Djokovic. And he has QF points to defend. He’ll say goodbye to those. Hopefully Rome will be kinder.

the DA Says:

Stan’s draw: 1R – bye, 2R – Tursunov or qualifier, 3R – Youzhny or Feli, QF – Milos or Kei, SF – Novak or Ferru, F – Rafa or Fed. Much better to be seeded #3 than #8.


bbsocrates Says:

Daniel, let me put another way – The #1 ranked player would be someone who does not currently own a grand slam title. IMHO, that should not happen. Reminds me of the Marcello Rios reign.

Not saying Djokovic isn’t worthy (Rios certainly wasn’t), I’m a fan and he is probably the best player out there today.

RZ Says:

@bbsocrates – several Masters 1000s make up for GS misses. Last July, Murray held the US Open, Wimbledon, and Olympics (that’s a whopping 4750 points right there) but was still ranked #2.

RZ Says:

Looks like Stan is in a good position to retain those runner-up points!

madmax Says:

Usually, there is a post with the Madrid draw? Strange that TX has not posted this yet, with the views of who is going to win/lost early.

May be tomorrow?

Giles Says:

Tennis X moderators. Are you guys for real??? I have just posted the draw for Madrid and you choose to moderate???

Hippy Chic Says:

If he loses it he loses it,personally i can live with it,holding two GS takes the sting out of losing it somewhat,holding two GS and been ranked number 2,as opposed to holding no GS and been ranked number 1,hmm i think i know which position i would rather be in?Novaks been the most consistent player so far this year but ATM doesnt hold a GS so this would be of small consolation IMO,just my two cents??

Steve 27 Says:

Rafa hasn’t done as well at Madrid as he has at the other clay court tournaments,

2 titles an two finals on red clay is not doing well? Mmm…

Michael Says:

That is how tough it is to retain the No.1 ranking. Although Rafa hasn’t had a spectacular year, notably his performance has been above average. Yet a considerably distant lead has narrowed down considerably over the weeks with a few mishaps. Still, there are lot of ifs and buts and Rafa can hope to retrieve something out of this murky scenario. I am sure he will be aiming to do well in Madrid where traditionally he has not done so well compared to other clay court tournaments. Another silver lining for Rafa is Novak’s fitness which is yet to be ascertained although his Team maintains that it is not serious. Unless Novak plays a few matches on court and feels good, nothing can be said for certain. But all things being equal, it would be a tough ask for Rafa where intriguingly of late he has been short of confidence which will have a telling effect on his performance. He can ofcourse turn it around with a win at Madrid, but that will require some effort if Novak is fit and raring to go.

Hippy Chic Says:

Michael sorry but who says Novak getting to the final is such a sure thing,i get that hes a fantastic player and also one of your favorites and all that,but the tour doesnt revolve around him,sorry but he is beatable?

Hippy Chic Says:

^And for that matter given Rafas form of late,i wouldnt automatically pencil him in for the final either.^

Hippy Chic Says:

Steve 27 i think that they mean its his least sucessfull CC tourney compared to the rest,but still not bad stats though eh?

Okiegal Says:

Novak stated that when the baby arrived, it would be the top priority…..in other words, tennis would come second. I was surprised he said that.

How is his wrist coming along? Anyone know?

Has anyone gone to the USO and sat in the nosebleed section? If so, can you see the lines good, where the ball hits? Was curious, that is a big stadium.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

Although Rafa hasn’t had a spectacular year, notably his performance has been above average.

On what grounds? His performance since USO has been well below his average. Tell me one score this year which was above his average. His biggest mistake was playing Asia swing last year. Instead of taking a break after a brilliant six months, he wanted to finish off Novak on his turf in Beijing. He ended up being badly beaten by Novak and Delpo. Uncle Toni’s plan backfired and now Nadal is basically forced to play without a break for more than a year. His mind and body are giving way, I sense injury time sometime after Wimbledon.
In saying this, I still see Nadal as the favourite to win Rome and FO, and with this cakewalk draw, Madrid.
Novak will probably play a few matches to test his wrist and then pull out.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

Novak stated that when the baby arrived, it would be the top priority…..in other words, tennis would come second. I was surprised he said that.

That quote’s been taken out of context. He also said:
“It will be tiring, but I am sure it will also give me the extra energy and motivation to pursue my career.”

Read the article in it’s entirety:


“The practice of quoting out of context, sometimes referred to as “contextomy”, is a logical fallacy and a type of false attribution in which a passage is removed from its surrounding matter in such a way as to distort its intended meaning.”

Michael Says:


Agree. Nothing is given. However, Rafa and Novak are ranked No.1 and No.2 for a reason and so naturally we expect them to reach the finals, which ofcourse is not a certainity given the competition. There are many imponderables that may avert this outcome mainly Rafa’s lack of confidence as well as Novak’s fitness levels which may ultimately decide such eventuality. But what more treat for a Tennis Fan today than to watch a Novak Vs Rafa final ? Unlike the Roger Vs Rafa battles despite all the hype surrounding it which mostly end as one sided due to the bad match up, this rivalry is evenly poised, pulsating and gruelling too as both players grind each other well on court and give the Spectators a sumptuous treat of pressure Tennis.

Michael Says:

Bad Knee rules,

If reaching the finals of WTF, Australian Open and Miami are not above average feats,then what else is ? Plus, Rafa has also won two tournaments this year. So his performance by no means is abysmal. However, relatively given the high bar he has set, he has fallen short. That is the price he pays for his greatness.

Okiegal Says:

@Bad Knee

I stand by what I posted, he plainly said the baby would be top priority……I’m aware he added the other part……I don’t need a lesson in English from a person who has bad knees……just saying. Don’t get your panties in a twist over a comment about your favorite player. You better be more worried about his wrist rather than a remark by a Rafa fan. Go rule something you know about…..like ailing knees! Do you get the context of this comment??

Bad Knee Rules Says:

we’re talking about Nadal’s average, not Nishikori’s or Dimitrov’s. His results are certainly not above HIS average, but below.

Klaas Says:

Once a new family is created (and by the way, a family is created by the addition of a new member, marriage is completely inessential), our genes kick in. The father will feel increased responsibility and intensify his hunting/breadwinning efforts. Expect Novak to do extremely well once the baby is born.

Michael Says:

Bad Knee Rules,

As I said that is the price he pays for his greatness. If a Nishikori or Dmitrov had such a record, it would have been heralded as a great achievement, but for Rafa, it seems pretty ordinary. He cannot help it. But still, I feel that his performance this year is above average even judged by his own high standards. In the season’s first major, he came all the way to the finals. I think that is a wonderful achievement.

Hippy Chic Says:

Hes made four finals this year so far winning two titles,losing to the players ranked two and three so not exactly to nobodies,and you can say looking at the glass half full rather than half empty which i prefer to do, that as long as you make finals you are still at least putting yourself into contention,granted its surprising to see him losing to players he usually owns like Ferrer,Almagro,Dolgo,so it will be interesting to see if this is merely a blip or the law of averages catching up with him,lets see how the rest of the year pans out before writing the obituries just yet?

Hippy Chic Says:

Rafa made the final in what is considered his worst GS,Novak lost in the semis in whats considered his best GS,that is what i found really bizarre to say the least?

Alexandra Says:

Rafa needs to find his form. That is the bigger worry and not the rankings. Even though it would be quite strange for Djoker to be ranked No.1 without a grand slam title. I always thought that was reserved for the WTA.

Okiegal Says:

@Bad Knee

Another thread on Novak’s comment about tennis not being his #1 priority……He can’t wait for diaper duty……I think he’s serious about this baby thing……hmmmm?? Now what BKR?? Waiting for another one of your lectures! Lol

Okiegal Says:


Law of average…..

jamie Says:

Both Djokovic and Nadal are declining …. I see just a couple more slams for Nole and just one more for Nadal.

Djokovic will end up with 8 slams and Nadal with 14 slams.

Thomas Says:

WHat about Federer and Murray?

Nitesh Says:

Djokovic out of Madrid so Rafa will retain no 1 ranking

Top story: Wawrinka, Nishikori, Cilic Escape with Wins on Day 1 at Australian Open