Federer Surprised By Shot At No. 1; Murray, Nadal In Action Wednesday
by Sean Randall | October 21st, 2014, 5:20 pm
  • 67 Comments

With the clock running out, Roger Federer and Andy Murray are both in action on Wednesday in Europe, with both aiming for lofty goals.

Despite going Slam-less in 2014, Federer finds himself with a decent shot at the year-end No. 1 ranking, and that chase resumes this week in Basel where 500 points are available for the taking.

“It’s all to play for and I hope to start off well in Basel,” said Federer trails Novak Djokovic by 990 ranking points. “The fact that I’ve gotten so close to No. 1 is a bit of a surprise to me, because clearly I’m aware I haven’t won a Slam. But I was extremely close at Wimbledon and I’ve been very consistent throughout, otherwise I wouldn’t be in this situation.

“It’s a different year end than I thought it was going to be, but it doesn’t actually change a whole lot. I was always going to play the tournaments that I’m playing now and I know that if I don’t win a few of them, World No. 1 is not going to happen as well.”

Federer plays tomorrow against Gilles Muller who has a dangerous game on an indoor surface. But it’s hard to see the Swiss losing at his home event.

“I’ve played here so many times. I know how the court feels and that is an advantage,” Federer said. “Of course, the pressure can always get to you, but I think with the experience I have these days, I walk out and I’m actually quite laidback and really excited to be back on the centre court in Basel.”

I still believe the race will hinge on the Djokovic baby. Regardless of Federer’s result in Basel, If Novak does play Paris and London I think the Serb takes the top spot home. If Novak can’t play, or he has to withdraw mid-event from one, then Roger’s got a very real chance of stealing it.

Also with a very real chance of a strong finish is Andy Murray. After going title-less for 14 months, Murray’s won two of his last four events putting himself right in the meat of the London race. A strong result this week in Valencia should get him in.

Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov and David Ferrer are also in contention for those final spots. With Rafael Nadal seemingly out of London – he can’t officially announce his withdrawal until next week or after Paris if he plays in France – there’s new hope for these guys.

Nadal is also playing Wednesday in Basel against French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert.


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67 Comments for Federer Surprised By Shot At No. 1; Murray, Nadal In Action Wednesday

SX1 Says:

Djokovic will play Paris…he has become dad of baby boy..


Sean Randall Says:

Thanks for the update SX1!


skeezer Says:

Woo hoo Congrats to Nole. Look out now….


jane Says:

hippy chick, to answer your question from the other thread, i don’t think there has been a name announced. all i saw on twitter was that nole and jelena have had a baby boy. exciting news for them.

i do hope, like sx1 says, that this means nole can play out the year.


Wog boy Says:

If Federer finishes the year as #1, somebody please remind him what he said in 2009 about finishing year as #1 without winning a slam. He might have to eat his words as he is already changing his tune, reading in this thread what he said about becaming #1 without winning GS.
My opinion is the same as it was then (when Federer had a dig at JJ), you play and earn the points and become #1, with or without GS, system is the same for everybody.


tennismonger Says:

@ Wog boy, yes I agree too – people who have a problem w/ a “slamless #1″ just need to get over themselves.

Sometimes it just happens: “perfect storm”-type conditions occur – no one player dominates, some top players are injured for a time or slumping a bit & next thing you know, consistent but slamless guy is #1 or is at least w/in sniffing distance.

I’m no expert on the ATP ranking system but I daresay Fed’s “disastrous” 2013 also helped him this year – far fewer point to defend as opposed to the rest of the top guys. His comeback was all gravy.

That said, I’m perfectly cool w/Fed as year-end #1 if it transpires…


Steve 27 Says:

Let’s hope this won’t happen. It will be bad for the sport.
Really, just depends on Djoker.
The birth of his child has to be an extra motivation, not an excuse.


Goose Egg Says:

Speaking of rankings… Wawrinka is already out of Basel in the first round! His year (aside from AO and Monte Carlo) has been a disappointment. AO counts for about 40% of his ranking points… After the next AO, his ranking will plummet if he doesn’t go very, very deep in that one tournament.

I also hope his poor form doesn’t compromise Switzerland’s chances in the Davis Cup final. What a shame it would be if Fed couldn’t capture that elusive DC trophy because Wawrinka didn’t show up in good form!


Steve 27 Says:

Is because of Wawrinka that federer is playing Davis Cup 2014.
After Djokovic withdraw, he decided to play against a weak Serbia.
The trophy is not only for Federer, is for Wawrinka, the doubles, the coach, and most important, the all nation.
Dont be an egocentric…
Did you watch Davis Cup 2012 and 2013?
Ferrer and Djokovic won their two matches and and it was not enough. This happen.
And do not you think Tsonga can beat your idol in the Davis Cup, as he did in RG last year?
We are not in 2006 anymore.


Goose Egg Says:

@Steve 27

Slow down there, buddy. “My idol” lol? I don’t think I implied that Federer is my idol. I’m rooting for Switzerland to win the Davis Cup because I think it would be a nice addition to Federer’s otherwise great career.

But let’s be real. Switzerland’s doubles team won’t be as good as France’s. They are relying on two people, Federer and Wawrinka, to win in singles. And when Wawrinka is losing in the first round against an unseeded player at a 500 tourney in his own country, you don’t like his chances against a very good French team. That’s all.


skeezer Says:

@Goose Egg
They are not known as rafafanatics for nothin, lol! U tell em!

@wog boy
Yeah I remember that also, good point.


Steve 27 Says:

[In English, translated by Chris Boardman]
http://rafanadal-kingoftennis.ru/new…014-10-21-2477
[Excerpts]
Question: Do you wonder sometimes how many years you still have in tennis?
RAFA: Everything has a beginning and an end. That’s why I don’t worry too much. When the day comes, it comes. If I no longer feel the inner drive to fight, to suffer, to train every day to return to the game, to endure the pain that I normally have, that day has come. Then I’ll do other things. Then I’ll go fishing in Mallorca. That’s not bad.

Question: What drives you? To break records? Winning more Grand Slam tournaments?
RAFA: The most important thing for me is to be happy and enjoy the competition. My motivation is to be competitive, savor the moments of the fight. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. This is sport. If I’m healthy, can train well and play for a big title, I’m happy.

Question: Do you follow the debate as to who the greatest tennis player is? You, Federer or someone from the past? What is your view?
RAFA: It is difficult to speculate as long as our careers are not yet completed. But in my opinion there much evidence that Rod Laver is the best in history. He won the calendar Grand Slam, joined the pros and won the Grand Slam again after a long break. That’s great. If he had not turned pro, he would certainly have won more majors than me and probably more than Roger as well. Laver must definitely be considered in this discussion. Roger has the most Grand Slams titles and broken many records, he is certainly one of them.

Question: How would you describe your relationship with him [Federer]?
RAFA: We understand each other well. But we’re not friends. Not because we are rivals. But because my friends are from Mallorca. Friends are those people who are there every day of your life. With whom one is always in contact. But I always had a good relationship with Roger, always had great respect for him. And he for me. We have achieved many positive things together, for example our exhibition matches around the world for our foundations. I hope we will also maintain this good relationship beyond our careers.

Question: Federer is already a father of four, Novak Djokovic will be a father. Is that something you want?
RAFA: Yes, of course. I love children and definitely want my own family. But everyone has their own timing. Mine is that I want kids after my career. But of course you can never predict the future (smiles).


Hippy Chick Says:

Steve 27 as Rafa says he does indeed love kids,but wants to leave babies and marraige till his career in tennis is over ,and Xisca is studying for a university degree right now,they are both very comfortable doing their own thing ATM,im sure they too will make a great parents when the time comes though….


elina Says:

Interesting. I always thought Rafa said Roger was the best of all time. First I heard him say this.

I can certainly see the argument for Laver but I don’t know about Laver as THE absolute best. The game is so much faster now and technically advanced. Plus, there were only two surfaces in slams when he played.

Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve watched some of his old matches and he truly was one of the all time bests. Absolutely amazing shot maker and ability to think quickly on court! Reminds me in many ways of Fed.

I don’t think there is an obvious all time best ATM.


Okiegal Says:

Rod Laver was before I got interested in tennis. I have heard Johnny Mac say that he was his idol growing up. I realize it would be hard for Rafa, at his age, bring up Laver as the GOAT. He’s probably done a lot of research on Rod’ s record and has a different feeling about it now. Respect of Mr. Laver might have have a lot to do with him taking a new stand for him. After all the “Rocket” is very much alive and deserves the respect and Rafa being the type of person he is would adhere to that fact. I’ve done a little research on Mr. Laver and watched some you tube stuff and he was very good. Another reason to call it GOTT….Greatest Of Their Time….imho…


Hippy Chick Says:

IMO Its the reason GOAT doesnt work,well for me personally,as players come from different eras,but not just different eras,but different age groups too,Roger and Rafa are five years in age difference,would things be different if both were the same age who knows?….


MMT Says:

The fact that Federer has a shot a reaching #1 without a major is all the more reason to discount the value of reaching #1. It’s an achievement, no doubt, but not on par with winning a major. I don’t think it’s a question of eating his words, so much as it being incumbent on him not to accept this accomplishment with the humility befitting someone who has done so without capturing one of the crowned jewels of the game.

It is easier to do this on the WTA because they distribute their points differently than the ATP, but it does require an anomaly from recent years where those who have won majors were either less consistent or played less than those who did not, but still have accumulated more points.

Actually, if you look at the history of the #1 ranking, it was much more common for players to reach the ATP #1 without winning majors earlier in the history of the ranking. In fact, the first #1 player Ilie Nastase hadn’t won a major in almost a year when became the first #1 ranked player. John McEnroe was #1 at the end of 1982, despite Connors winning Wimbledon and US Open that year, and Ivan Lendl ranked #1 on an off 2 years before he won his first major.
Connors was also ranked #1 for two years from 1977 to 1979 with no majors in that period (except the US Open in 1977 two weeks into that spell).

There have also been some extraordinary cases like Marcelo Rios in 1998 and Carlos Moya in 1997, but those were just scheduling anomalies that last 2 weeks. Reigning #1′s have been rare since 1990 when the ATP took over the ATP tour and began to standardize and homogenize the values of tournaments and the majors.


MMT Says:

Sorry, Carlos Moya was ranked #1 in 1999, which was weighted by his win at the French almost a year earlier in 1998.


MMT Says:

Nadal’s arguments with Laver are in the right spirit, but illogical. Laver deserved consideration, not because he would have won more majors as an amateur, but because his performance as a touring/tournament professional prior to the open era was dominant of the games best players.

If winning more majors as an amateur were a part of the consideration, then Roy Emerson should be in the conversation, but he isn’t. There were professional majors when Laver was a professional (before the open era), 15 of them, and Laver won 12, which you could add to his open era majors (5), but you’d have to discount his amateur majors (6), and you’d wind up with 17 majors…just like Federer.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Forget who was GOAT.
Who will be the next poster to claim with a straight face that Janowicz is a roadblock in someone’s draw?


Giles Says:

Vamos Rafa!
2 breadsticks for his opponent today!!
Well done Champ!


Okiegal Says:

@Chick…..Good point about the age scenario….who knows??


Brando GOAT poster Says:

@TV: LMFAO quite true. JJ has regressed badly in last 16 months. Not much progress at all game wise.


Okiegal Says:

Berdy getting beat by Andujar…6-3, 4-2….it’s got to be the clothes!! Lol


Okiegal Says:

Berdy out in Valencia and Gulbis out in Basel!


RZ Says:

@Okiegal – one of Berdych’s shortcomings (aside from the clothes – LOL) is his lack of stamina. He doesn’t seem capable of deep runs week in and week out. He had a couple of good weeks followed by an early loss. That’s not unheard of, even with the big 4, but seems to happen to him more than the other top 10 players.


RZ Says:

Rafa is the GOAT of playing well despite appendicits.

I’m curious about the Basel scheduling. How has Rafa played two matches but Fed hasn’t even played one yet?


Hippy Chick Says:

Giles that for the stat,1 and 1,wow keep it up Rafa….


Hippy Chick Says:

RZ i was wondering that myself about why Rafas played two matches and Roger none,unless Rafa has a day off tomorrow hmmm?


skeezer Says:

And Boom! Fed crushes Muller 2 and 1. Moving on and looking good.


Okiegal Says:

@RZ……Has been stated many times on this forum……CONSISTENCY is the name of the game…whether it be because of lack of stamina or the continual wearing of ugly gear…..lol…if you ain’t consistent you will never be a top contender. What is sad about it, these lower ranked players can play lights out at times but then poop out….maybe just not in good enough shape to carry through to win it all. I think its a lack of training on their part….just not taking it serious enough, imo.


Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer……I watched every bit of that match and Muller didn’t have a chance today…..Roger looked really good, playing just like a 20 yr old…..amazing!!!


Hippy Chick Says:

Rafa and Roger both playing very well in Basel,heres hoping they both keep it up and meet in the final….


sienna Says:

well becomming#1 without slamwin might not be a decider but over 4 1/2 year cons #1 is.


Brando GOAT poster Says:

Number 1? There’s no need to even discuss whether Fed deserves it or not. If he gets it then maybe that’s a point to talk over but when Novak is set to play all out in Paris and WTF this more than likely is a pointless discussion. Lets wait and see who ends up YE1 before discussing something that may not even happen.


Polo Says:

Sienna, I cannot understand the last part of your sentence.


Polo Says:

Yes indeed, Brando. The Federer egg may not even hatch.


RZ Says:

@Okiegal – right on about consistency. That’s why I think of the young guns, Nishikori will be the best. He seems to be more consistent than the others, except for when he’s injured.


sienna Says:

Polo
Just my way of saying that staying #1 for over 4 1/2 years is a big deal in determing GOAT.


Polo Says:

Nishikori, excellent player but too small and too injury prone to be a consistent factor in tournaments where all the big top guys are entered.


sienna Says:

its a reaction on the inuendo of #1 ranking not being a deciding factor.


Okiegal Says:

@Brando GOAT Poster 1:53

I agree…… the other night I started counting the “ifs” on this subject and gave out. This all remains to be seen……moot subject atm…..imo!

@RZ…….I should have mentioned injuries, to be fair, because there are a few players who are injury plagued and they can’t help being in that position. Agree with you about Kei, good little player “if” he can stay well!


Daniel Says:

One prt of the equation defined, Djoko will play Paris and WTF.

Now for Fed is Basel title and potential Nadal in the finals. Nadal had two greta matches will play another no name and maybe Goffin or Raonic in semis, looking ggod for him in the finals.

Fed won’t have to worry with Stan in his home soil but Dimitrov is still in it (which is oosing in first set now). But I can see a Fed x Nadal chapter 24 cme Sunday. Form3 times Nadal had a 5 match winning streak over Fed and now his streak is still on. Hope Fed can get one match this year if they indeed play.


Brando GOAT poster Says:

@sienna: it’s time to look beyond the GOAT stuff me thinks my dear. It’s leading to the same drivel being posted on repeat.


Polo Says:

Of the younger generation of players, Dimitrov appears to be the best as regards the physical and mental parts of the game. Raonic has improved but movement will always be his bete noir. Janowicz has gone AWOL. I’ve already mentioned my thoughts on Nishikori whose 2014 US Openhe may


Polo Says:

…find hard to replicate.


Brando GOAT poster Says:

Re Rafa: has anyone even seen him play or is just commenting on scores against journeymen players? Well I have seen both matches and this seasoned poster believes he’s playing par for the course as expected with his situation. He’s not playing anywhere near his top level and has much to improve if he is to face Raonic. His consistency in play is not at the required level at all. Milos, a top 10 player, would be a colossal step up from the present opponents IF it happens. And as for Fed: their present level of play quite blatantly makes obvious who will win that one. One is returning from a lay off, has ongoing appendix issue and is playing within himself really and the other is just in the best form interms of performance in 2 years! Fed has Basel in the bag and his toughest match will be IF it happen, Dimitrov- book it!


Brando GOAT poster Says:

Re Nishikori: I agree. Physically he needs to improve greatly if he wants to achieve great success. He lacks behind Dimitrov on that front. But beyond that he is head and shoulders above the likes of Raonic, Dimitrov in terms of his Tennis. Mentally he’s shown more guts, courage and fight than Grigor will ever to do against the top players until they are past their best. Kei pushed Rafa hard at AO, went a step further and dominated in Madrid final, and then beat a very competitive Djokovic in the pressure ridden USO SF final. Oh and he’s also beat Fed twice and beat Wawa in a best of 5 GS QF after playing one a couple days earlier v Raonic. Put simply: he’s got more game and balls than Grigor: a player who just has not got the bottle to beat the best on the big stages. Kei has. And plenty of it. Put simply: IF Kei can-hopefully- improve his fitness then he’ll outperform Grigor and Milos with ease since the only way those guys will beat the top dogs is if they are on a downer or past their best in the future since they really do not have the game or courage to beat them. Kei has. He’s a player a who was slapping insane FH’s v Rafa at Madrid and winning BH to BH exchanges v Novak at USO as Brad Gilbert noted. He’s a beast and should he stay healthy he’ll be the best player of his generation: as already his results show he is!


Hippy Chick Says:

Rafas playing below par true,but the positive thing is hes still winning in straight sets,if he makes the final(IF)then that will be an achievement in itself IMO….


Polo Says:

You are correct Brando. But I still think that it will always be harder for a Nishikori than for a Dimitrov to go far consistently in major tournaments. But I dearly wish for me to be wrong and for you to be right and see Nishikori win majors. The kid’s talent is sterling.


Sienna Says:

BGP
of course we should adress Fed attaining #1 atm.
because if he reaches #1 then a discussion would be irrelevant.
Dont rain on my parade could be good way of putting down anyone belittleling Fed in obtaining #1 without slam.

Anywayz Federer is ousing confidence and the ride will last untill dc final.
Dimitrov will fall short bigtime. As wil raonic /nadal infinal.

djokovic will have lack of ritm and practise so i dont think he will have the edge to take it to him.

only Cilic can overtake Fed and blow him of the court.but he needs to find US Open form.


Sienna Says:

Of course Id like Fed to win another slam. But as a fan and follower I also like him to perform well in all of his tournements.
So what would be more satisfying for me as a fan? Him becomming #1 without a slamwin or winning wimbly and reaching only 1 final.

i would at this moment have to choose the first option because that would mean he will win and play final weekends on many of his scheduled tournements.

and for criticizing him as #1 without slam. i would agree if he would become #1 when plays and enters all kinds of extra tourneys for points, but his year is just how he planned it as usual. With 1 bonus DAVIS CUP. How fitting it would be if he gaines #1 with the few points to win in DC final.


Sienna Says:

Criticizing fed in slams is almost blasfemie. Him not entering a slam or playing a game in slam is unthinkable. The enormous mental strentgh that man has to play those events is unmatched by any player this and other generations.
that is where his mental game is far more superior then Nadals.


Giles Says:

Sienna. Have you been drinking that “special coffee”???


Okiegal Says:

@elina……scratching my head too……


Brando GOAT poster Says:

Those posts….. Wow.


skeezer Says:

Congrats on Nadal getting past 2nd rd against 2 qualifiers. Next up?…..maybe a W/C.


elina Says:

You guys! skeezer says mew!


Okiegal Says:

Criticizing Fed for anything will get your butt into big time trouble……Okiegal knows all too
well!! LOL…….


John Says:

Classic. Absolutely hilarious!


John Says:

^
@October 22nd, 2014 at 5:52 pm


Hippy Chick Says:

Skeezer @October 22nd 5.52pm, agree in that beating two qualifiers doesnt really suggest much about Rafas form or the way hes playing,but it sure as hell beats losing to two qualifiers,winning will do for me for now….


Hippy Chick Says:

Elina @6.28pm October 22nd have to ask what the hell is this mew thing you keep saying in your posts?….


Margot Says:

@Hippy
Just guessing but:
mew = catty ?


Steve 27 Says:

LSD sienna?

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