For The First Time In Nearly Two Years, Roger Federer Ranks Ahead Of Rafael Nadal

by Staff | May 14th, 2012, 10:24 am

He may be closing in on 31, but Roger Federer seems to be getting better with age. After defeating Tomas Berdych yesterday for the Madrid Masters 1000 title, the Swiss great moved ahead of rival Rafael Nadal in the ATP Rankings.

Nadal had been ranked higher than Federer every day dating back to June 7, 2010 when Rafa replaced Roger at No. 1.

Since turning 30 last August, Federer has won seven ATP titles and this year he leads all players with four trophies.

This week Federer is 325 points ahead of Nadal. With the 2011 Rome points already dropped from the rankings, Nadal will have to at least reach the semifinals in Rome to have a chance to move ahead of Federer.

The rankings next Monday (May 21) will be used to determine the seedings at the French Open where Novak Djokovic is assured of the top spot.

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40 Comments for For The First Time In Nearly Two Years, Roger Federer Ranks Ahead Of Rafael Nadal

jane Says:

Fed likes clay more than grass…’It’s a myth about me not liking the clay – I like it more than grass.”

jane Says:

Or did Serena say that? I have just read two different articles, and one quotes it as Fed while another quotes it as Serena.

Lol, goes to show…

jane Says:

It was definitely Serena, not Fed – sorry for the misquote. Also, I didn’t realize Serena won the FO 10 years ago. Forgot about that.

tfouto Says:

Serena said that…

Brando Says:

‘but Roger Federer seems to be getting better with age’.

I disagree- 2004-2007 was his best, by a countrymile too. IF that federer played berdych in the final- the match would be a foregone conclusion, NOT a nervous ride for his fans.

NONETHELESS, he is doing well atm. It will be interesting to see if he can step up against rafa or nole when it REALLY matters for a player of feds calibre, i.e. GS stage.

the mind reels Says:

The following statement isn’t particularly shocking or interesting, but I think the numbers below are:

Lots of intrigue in store for upcoming stretch between Rome and through the end of Wimbledon.

Points to defend:

1. Djokovic: 3,720 (1,000 (Rome) + 720 (RG) + 0 (Queen’s) + 2,000 (Wimbledon))

2. Federer: 1,650 (90 (Rome) + 1,200 (RG) + 0 (Halle) + 360 (Wimbledon))

3. Nadal: 3,845 (600 (Rome) + 2,000 (RG) + 45 (Queen’s) + 1,200 (Wimbledon))

Both Djokovic and Nadal have more than twice the amount of points to defend through this period, which by default suggests that they have much less room to increase any current point leads over Federer.

As a hypothetical, let’s say Federer loses in the semis of the French, and Nadal beats Djokovic in the finals. Federer would lose 480 points, Djokovic would gain 480 points, and Nadal would remain the same. That’s a 960 point swing between Federer-Djokovic.

If Federer plays Halle, he picks up at most 250 free points, which could chip away at the differential b/w him and Djokovic, but where I think it will really get interesting is at Wimbledon. Again, this is extremely hypothetical, but if he were to beat Djokovic in the finals, that’d be a roughly 2,400 point swing in Roger’s favor.

A lot of this points to Federer being in very good position this summer to close the gap on Djokovic. The key for him will be to stay healthy. Meanwhile, Nadal and Djokovic will need to put in repeat performances to maintain their slim-ish leads over Federer.

At this point last year, there was about 3,700 points between Federer and the #1 spot. This year, there’s less than half that (1,770). He’s done well to put himself in contention.

the mind reels Says:

The other obvious state based on the hasty analysis above is how many points could each guy potentially add to his tally based on last year’s performances:

1. Djokovic: 1,530 (1,280 at RG and 250 at Queen’s)
2. Federer: 3,600 (910 at Rome, 800, at RG, 250 at Halle, and 1,640 at Wimbledon)
3. Nadal: 1,405 (400 at Rome, 205 at Queen’s, and 800 at Wimbledon)

The above assumes Federer is playing Rome, which he may not, in which case he could pick up at most 2,690 points. These also assume that each guy will play a Wimbledon warm-up, which while likely, certainly isn’t a foregone conclusion as we’ve seen in years past. It often depends on how deep each guy goes at the French.

dari Says:

TMR- thanks for the numbers.
Federer better show up in Halle, they named the steet after him! And is this the year nadal starts playing there?

skeezer Says:


Is that right if he skips Rome he’ll only lose 90 points?

the mind reels Says:

@dari: yea, Nadal has put Halle on his calendar this year, which is interesting. The courts there a quite fast, though this is true of Queen’s, as well, I think.

In my humble opinion, historically the better grass players tend to play Halle: Federer, Hewitt, Berdych. Perhaps Nadal wants to up the pre-Wimbledon competition a bit. Or perhaps they are paying him more money. Roddick is an exception to the above, btw — he’s always played Queens and, in my book, is one of the better grass-court players of the past decade.

the mind reels Says:

And sorry — before I get yelled at, yes, Nadal is also an exception to my unofficial Halle claim above, but we already know he’s historically played Queen’s. That’s why it is now interesting that he’s moving to Halle.

@skeezer: I believe that’s right. Federer crashed out in the round of 16 last year to Gasquet, a performance which earned him only 90 points. Those points have already come off as of this morning.

jane Says:

I thought Rafa’s move from Queens to Halle may’ve had something to do with taxes. Anyhow, some players seem to go back and forth too. I’ve noticed that Tsonga and Nole for example have played both warms ups.

Humble Rafa Says:

Federer better show up in Halle, they named the steet after him! And is this the year nadal starts playing there?

They only named a street. They should have renamed the whole country, if not the city. After all, it is their privelege to have the Arrogant One there.

Your Humble Highness on the other hand doesn’t care about such insignificant dreams.

carlo Says:

Definitely disagree with anyone saying Federer is better than ever now.

Perhaps more experienced and crafty. But in his glory days 2004-2007, I just sat back and enjoyed, thrilled. He was going to beat most players most of the time, except Nadal at RG.

Yesterday nothing was certain, I was too nervous to watch, only because I don’t like Federer losing to Berdych for some reason. Of course, I stopped watching Fedals, long ago; but I cheer Murray, Delpo, and others over Federer. Federer has enough for me. He’s achieved enough.

Although, I will admit a secret ;) I have this desire to see Nole have more years like 2011 and shut-up the Fedal wars. I want Nole to pass both of them! LOL…. seriously. So tired of the Fedal wars.

skeezer Says:


lol I hear ya ;)

the mind reels Says:

@carlo: Nole is a long way off from ever getting close to passing either Nadal or Federer. He showed last year that he’s capable of dominating for most of an entire season, but mentally I don’t think he’s shown that he can keep it together season-to-season. We just witnessed how the blue clay of death caused him enough frustration to go out in straights to Tipsarevic, so that suggests to me that there’s still room for him to mature. Perhaps that’s encouraging for you to hear, as it suggests he may yet get even better.

dari Says:

Wouldn’t mind some kohlschreiber isner updates if anybody has them

carlo Says:

Well, the mind reels, perhaps you are right; or, what we are seeing now is a temporary dip in form caused by lots of emotion, distraction, break in routine: eating (his diet), sleeping, and so on. Nole has grown on me a lot. I cheer for him most of the time now over Federer, though I won’t cry, except at FO, if Federer beats him.

I prefer when he beats Nadal…particularly on clay.

So, there you go. Admittedly I’m minority in how, and for whom, I cheer now. Really, the Nadal v Federer thing going on and on…the insulting and mocking on both sides, has gotten to me. :/

I raise the white flag and used to be on the battlefront. Nadal and Federer are both great. Nadal has new life in his knees and I’m content if he passes Federer over time. It’s still a distinct possibility. I go along with the saying, “records are made to be broken.”

And Nole is just turning 25. There is a mathematical possibility he could pass Fedal. 3 GS per year for several years, add some longevity to his career and a couple more GS’s. Hey, he’s plenty talented enough. And I want him to at least join those greats having a career slam by winning FO :D Or, eclipse both by getting a calendar slam! Djoker slam at FO would do a lot to silence the anti-nadals and anti-federers.

carlo Says:

dari, special K won the 1st set 6-2. 2nd set just starting. Ah, appears Isner is finding his serve weapon – 4 aces and getting better. But PK is playing well!

racquet Says:

@Dari – you’re not missing much (unless you like train wrecks). Isner played so poorly and has lost the first set 6-2. Don’t know what’s going on with him but he needs to get it together quickly.

Nina Says:

I hear brother. ;)

dari Says:

Thanks guys. i like PK and usually pick him for upsetting people, but not this time, not to mention I picked john to the quarters I think :/

racquet Says:

Isner has been broken again and trails 3-4. PK has been playing very well, especially on the return.

carlo Says:

dari, special K is up a break in the 2nd 4-3, serving to hold but…John has improved from the 1st set but 7 aces so far is low for him.

yep. PK holds. 5-3. John now to serve. but can he break Kohls? or does Kohl choke? not over yet.

carlo Says:

Nina, I’m serious. Ajde Nole!

carlo Says:

Oh no. Pk missed an easy smash. He’s nervous serving for match and Isner has a bp. his 1st.

carlo Says:

Oh man, PK hit one into the net. John gets the break. 5-5. Far from over, this match. John getting more confident out there.

carlo Says:

6-5 Isner in the 2nd. I picked Isner for only one round…this win, then meant to pick Isner over Seppi, thought I did; must have forgot to ‘save’ change

carlo Says:

tie break. Isner specialty.

Feels like special K lost his chance when he had a chance to serve for the match, a break up, serving at 5-4.

4-1 isner in the tb

carlo Says:

Isner with a set point ….3 of them. takes it

Going to decider, my money, if I had any, would be on Isner, dari. Momentum shift, imo.

alison hodge Says:

Carlo LMAO at your post @3.46pm,that would put the cat amongst the pigeons,and your right its a mathematical possibility,so you never whats gonna happen,although you would have to rely on both Roger and Rafa not adding any more to there tally,but hypothetically what a talking point that would be.

alison hodge Says:

Like special K,but picked Isner in my bracket,and it needs a boost so come on Big John.

carlo Says:

Doubt I’d win a popularity contest with my post, alison lol’s…

John has a double break. He’ll serve for the match. Rest easy Isner pickers.

madmax Says:

jane Says:
I thought Rafa’s move from Queens to Halle may’ve had something to do with taxes. Anyhow, some players seem to go back and forth too. I’ve noticed that Tsonga and Nole for example have played both warms ups.

May 14th, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Agreed Jane.

There was a big discussion about this, if I remember, last year.

the mind reels Says:

@jane, madmax: yes, thanks for recalling. Relevant article linked below, but the main gist is that Nadal was unhappy about the 50% tax on appearance fees, winnings, and some slice of worldwide endorsement earnings that applies to guys playing Queen’s Club. Also, Halle offered him $1.2m, which probably helped…

Michael Says:

No one can fight against the law of nature leave alone Roger. He can never produce the magic he did between 2004-2007 and again from 2009-2010 when he dominated this sport like never before. Now at 30, he still is able to win Masters and World series tournaments and also continuously perform in majors by reaching atleast the finals, semis or quarters. After achieving so much in this sport, he still finds the motivation needed to survive and that is by no means a small achievement. He has now pushed himself to the No.2 ranking by dethroning Nadal and this he has done when is nearing 31. This shows his consistency, class and determination to perform his best. Roger is simply a class apart.

Roger Federer Will Play In Rome! Says:

[…] Nadal in in the other half of the draw. Nadal and Federer are in a battle for the No. 2 seeding/ranking for the French […]

Hon Nam Says:

What is the scenario if Federer is to ensure the No.2 seed in French Open. Interested to know. Please comment.

Jacob Says:

All seemed well when the Swiss Maestro was winning Grand Slams with ease. But as time passed by, his glittering career was hanging by a thread, a shadow of doubt arose above him. Roger Federer was known as the GOAT. (Greatest of all time), for a long time, from ’04-’09 his tennis was superb, amazing, and absolutely perfect. After the 2010 Aussie Open win, his illustrious career looked like it was coming to an end. French Open quarter final loss to Robing Soderling, Another quarter final loss to Tomaz Berdych at Wimbledon, and a semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the US Open was exactly the kind of proof needed to prove that this wasn’t the Federer millions were used to.

Dude Says:

Nice number picking. Here’s another one (though no longer relevant):
If Federer would have won one of his two match balls at the US Open ’11, as of May 14 ’12 the ranking would have been:

If lost to Nadal:
1. Djoker 9,920 (11,200 – 1,280)
2. Federer 9,910 (9,430 + 480)
3. Nadal 9,905 (9,105 + 800)

If won US Open
1. Federer 10,710 (9,430 + 1,280)
1. Djoker 9,920 (11,200 – 1,280)
3. Nadal 9,105 (same)

“If”, I know, “if”. But still, amazing how tiny things turn Tennis history.

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