After Loss To Del Potro In Basel Final Federer Says Forget Paris, Hands Djokovic The Year-End No. 1 Ranking
by Sean Randall | October 28th, 2012, 4:35 pm

As I wrote yesterday, there were hints that Roger Federer would pass up playing the final Masters event of the year in Paris, to rest up for the real Masters next month in London. And after losing to Juan Martin Del Potro in a thrilling third set breaker in the Basel final, that’s just what he did.

”I’m not going. It’s the only right decision for me,” said Federer who won the Paris title last year. ”I had some niggling stuff and I didn’t want to take a chance obviously before the World Tour Finals. I need some time to prepare.”

And it probably is the right move for Roger – No. 1 was such a longshot anyway.

Federer’s withdrawal hands Novak Djokovic his second straight finish as the No. 1 player in the world. Djokovic enters Paris with about a 2,000 points lead, a deficit the Swiss cannot makeup up at London alone. So congrats to Novak.

And Andy Murray does have a crack at Federer’s No. 2 ranking, but he’ll have to win either Paris or London to hold any hope (he’s about 2K behind Roger).

As for the Basel match, credit to Del Potro who seemed to be heading for a third straight gut wrenching defeat to Federer. Roger had multiple break points mid-way through the third set but just couldn’t convert. And Del Potro capitalized on Federer’s errors to finally get his first win on him this year after six losses.

“It was an unbelievable final, the match was really close,” said Del Potro. “After six losses, it was a big win for me. I was fighting all the time. I got lucky in the end, but I felt that I played a really good match.

“I was focused on my defensive game, keeping the ball in play and building my confidence in order to break his serve. It was tough for both of us. I was to enjoy this title, then get ready to play in Paris and London.”

It wasn’t Federer’s best performance, but against a zoned-in Del Potro getting that close is a strong effort indoors.

“I thought overall I played pretty good,” said Federer. “He got off to a bit of a better start, but it was close. He served well at the beginning, which made him the better player in the first set. The second set was close. He didn’t play a very good tie-break and then I had my chances early on in the third. I couldn’t break, despite doing the right things, but then I didn’t play a good tie-break myself.”

Del Potro’s now won nine straight matches heading into a tough section of the draw in Paris where he’s mixed in with John Isner and Novak Djokovic. But with his power and form he’s going to be a force, and hopefully he can carry this over into 2013. Nice to have him back and healthy again (knock on wood!).

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54 Comments for After Loss To Del Potro In Basel Final Federer Says Forget Paris, Hands Djokovic The Year-End No. 1 Ranking

Giles Says:

Best to rest your weary bones Fed and get ready for WTF. Tough battles ahead!! #MayTheBestManWin

jane Says:

It sounds like this pull out was expected, perhaps especially if he didn’t win Basel.

Anyhow, I am glad for Nole that he’ll finish the year as number 1, a reward for his consistency this season. He’ll get to add to his 53 weeks at number 1. He is at #12 on the list for total weeks at #1, and #11 for consecutive weeks at #1 (tied with J-Mac). Not too shabby. ;)

The Great Davy Says:

Weak Swiss, pulling out of a the tournaments. I never pulled out of tournament in MY prime and I still won the WTF! What a glorious week at tennis, the GOAT being beaten and my underrated friends Ferrer winning!

Daniel Says:

Congrats to DelPo amd Djoko. Couldn’t see the match.

Now Djoko has another achievement of his own, that even Nadal doesn’t have: back to back Year End #1 ranking.

Fed will have to fight for #2 depending on Murray’s result. At least sone excitement in London.

RZ Says:

It sounds like the WTF will be a competitive tournament this year, unlike last year when only Fed and Tsonga showed up ready to play. Looking forward to it.

I’m a little worried that DelPo is going to tire himself out before the WTF.

Mike R Says:

Congrats to Delpo, he’s had some tough losses to Fed this year. I think the top 3 guys all had a great year, Djoker, Fed and Murray, there’s a mix of rivalries. Hope Rafa still plays at his best when he gets back. I think it’ll be tough, but if Delpo can come back, so can Rafa.

Robert Says:

Shame on Federer for pulling out of the Paris Masters and ceding the year-end #1 ranking to Djokovic without a fight. The worst quality about Federer is his lack of fighting spirit. Had Federer played the Paris Masters and defended his points, he still would have a chance at #1 if Djokovic didn’t do well in London AND Fed won the YEC. Now, it’s gone on a decision for a withdrawal, robbing the fans of excitement.

The Great Davy Says:

Where is my Ferrer article? Crimes! Just like Your Great Davy, Your Great Dabeed is always has been ignore. Another the most underrate player of my ear. Thanks to my arch nemesis Roger Goatmilk Federer.

skeezer Says:

“The worst quality about Federer is his lack of fighting spirit”

Ok. No fighting spirit. I would like to know how you get 17 Slams with a lack of fighting spirits. The dude is 31, not 21, and needs to manage his body accordingly…go Fed!

Brando Says:

Congrats to Nole and his fans- a deserving no. 1.

Truth be told, in a year that is more fragmented than recent one’s in terms of how we have 4 different slam winners, 4 individual’s who dominated the season at various points, nole- for me- was the deserving no.1 out of the big 4.

From his first tourny of the year AO until his last (Shanghai), he has ATLEAST reached SF in every tourny except one- Madrid. And that was a clay toruny that even rafa did not reach the qtr’s in!

He’s pretty much been the man to beat on outdoor HC in virtually every tourny, he was 2nd best to rafa on clay, SF in both wimby and olympics, and now in the indoor season he is going in with real form and momentum behind him.

He’s been Mr Consistency this year, and he deserves the YE no.1 title, more than anyone else, IMO.

So well done to nole once again for his outstanding season.

Bad news for others is: he isn’t quite finished yet………

jane Says:

Brando, nice post. I read an article that concurred, it’s basically because of the consistency, and going deep in all of the bigger events: masters and slams.

Here’s that article, for Nole’s fans.

jane Says:

But I also concur with the author, and with Mike R’s post above at 9:25, that’s it’s been very close; they’ve all had great years. Although Rafa was injured, he still won a slam and a few masters. So the prizes were more spread out this year. Even the rest of the top ten won a number of other titles, like Ferrer – he’s equalled Fed’s title total this year. Or Berd, Tsonga and Delpo; they all have titles. The top ten, as a whole, has been very consistent all season.

courtside Says:

Douglas Perry of the Oregon blog is an idiot

jane Says:

Do you read that blog regularly or are you basing that comment on this article only? I thought it was fair.

skeezer Says:

Giants win the World Series!! Yahoo!,,

Oops sorry wrong blog.

Wog boy Says:

I will try to put it this way.
I compare last year as a break year, same as a brake of game in a set and this year as consolidation year, he consolidated that break, regardlees what will happen in Paris and London. Next year he can move on and there is nowhere near pressure on him as it was this year for various reasons.
Makes sence……no?:)

Wog boy Says:

I was talking about Nole, no?

Wog boy Says:


Brando Says:

@Wog Boy:

‘Next year he can move on and there is nowhere near pressure on him’

I would have to disagree. I think next year the pressure on him will be same as this year. Self imposed pressure, just like the others.

No one realistically, IMHO, was expecting a 2011 repeat from him. Anyone who was doing so, quite frankly speaking, just does not understand the game and the circuit properly.

Next year he, rafa, andy and fed will have the same pressure:

of competing on an increasingly difficult, demanding and tough tour where it is really tough to win a big title since there are others on the same level as you who on any given day can easily beat you.

I expect 2013 to be similar to 2012- no one dominates the tour outright, just various top tier players dominating at different stages of the season.

The difference between the top 4 is very little, if none at all, going forward IMHO.

And who knows, this time next year we might be talking about a top 5 with delpo being in the mix…………

Tz Says:

So, fedexpress lost in his so called beloved indoors…..

I think these favorite surface, indoor/outdoor, lower bounce/ higher bounce facts don’t matter that much. Maybe they favor the player just a little bit, but in the end it’s just the player’s game that decides the outcome of a match. Especially for federer

Wog boy Says:


Next year pressure is going to be different one, it is the pressure to maintain and improve his level and play best he can to try to keep his #1 ranking and that is different pressure of trying to defend three GS titles, five masters and keep #1 ranking, trying to complete four GS and the biggest one and biggest disapointment for him trying to win gold at olympic games. That one still hearts him more than RG and Wimbledon together. He had expectation of nation on his shoulders and he thinks he failed them what is not correct, he brought so much happines and joy to his people, but that is Nole. It sounds strange from the perspective of most tennis fans and players, at the end it is only 750 points but for Nole it was different.
To conclude, you cannot seriously compare pressure of this year and next if you go through what I said.

andrea Says:

great match from del po. kept fed scrambling the whole time. he really kept the screws on. i was thinking of going to paris to watch, but with fed pulling out, i’m not going to go.

congrats to serena as well. what a year for her!

courbon Says:

Brando,Wog Boy,
good post.I kind of agree with both of you (oh, yes and that cunning Stone Sly Fox…).But I’m not sure when Rafa will fire up again (It may takes another 6 months?) and is Fed has still fuel in the tank for GS wins?Difficult to say.To me Andy,Nole and guys like Delpo will carry most in 2013 at the begining (I’m sure Rafa will be ready for Roland G.& Wimby ).But hey, only speculations (not prediction!!)who knows…and Fed may continue-one thing we learned this year that you can dismiss Fed.

Margot Says:

Many congrats to Nole and his fans. :)
Another really good year.

wilfried Says:

I’m sorry but yesterday see the thread “Will Federer play Paris? For now he’s in the draw along with Djokovic and Murray), I made a small error in my comment by saying that the 90 points would be added to the Race to London ranking points. Of course Tipsarovic’s 90 points of a non-countable tournament didn’t have to be added to the Race to London rankings points (as they already were included in it) but did have to be counted in the ATP rankings: 3160 points before Basel – 150 points (St. Petersburg falling off after Basel) + 90 points (replacement by the best non-countable tournament at that moment), making it a total of 18 tournament results).

alison Says:

Congrats to Nole and fans on finishing the year as world no 1,it was always going to be a tough ask to back up what he did last year,but he had a very solid year,making 3 slam finals and winning one of them,what more could you ask for as a fan?its been a great year with each of the top 4 sharing the slams between them,as a fan of both Rafa and Andy im delighted both won a slam each,especially with Andy winning his 1st,hope Rafa makes a strong come back and Andy goes on now to win many more slams,2013 should be a fantastic year,who knows maybe a new talent will make a break through?

Anna Says:

to all of you congratulating Novak on gaining no. 1 spot again – well, here’s the thing – anyone can do this, when its handed to you on a golden platter!!! just remember – Roger has had this honour for 302 weeks, and by the way – this does not mean he is “weak”!!! He has a valid point for doing this, and it should be respected. As for the arrogant, self-opionionated Novak – lets just see if he can beat Roger’s record!! You may be all clapping your hands in glee that he’s not participating in Paris, but you know the old saying “REVENGE IS SWEET’ and Roger is NOT DONE YET!!!

Anna Says:

oh – and I forgot to mention – as Roger has said, and i quote -” Being No. 1 is of course great, but loving the sport and what you do with it is also important” – unquote! Perhaps the likes of Novak, Murray etc., should take heed of this!!! Being a winner is NOT ENOUGH! having said this, Roger has done that, been there, and got MANY NIKE T/shirts!!!!, I rest my case for now!

Polo Says:

Spot what’s wrong with this statement.

Anna Says: “…to all of you congratulating Novak on gaining no. 1 spot again – well, here’s the thing – anyone can do this, when its handed to you on a golden platter…”

alison Says:

Anna with all due respect,i dont think anyones putting Roger down,you need to calm down a bit,Roger did fantastic to reclaim the no 1 ranking and win wimbledon,and breaking Samprases record of weeks at no 1,Noles fans are just happy because he had an exceptional year last year and backed it up by having another great year this year,they are happy and have every right to be,Noles earned his success hes lived in the shadow of Roger and Rafa for years now,and this is his time so why begrudge him?also no ones claiming Rogers done anyone saying that is an idiot,and no ones saying hes weak or clapping their hands in glee either,Rogers the worlds greatest ever player,whos records of which will never be broken,but this is about Nole give him a break cut him a bit of slack,let his fans enjoy his success,nothing lasts forever.

jane Says:

I don’t think anyone handed Nole 11,410 points. He had to win them. That’s why he’s going to end the year at #1.

volley Says:

it’s just a fan throwing a hissy fit over Roger losing the no.1 spot. pure emotion talking & little sense. life will go on.

the DA Says:

@ jane

Quite. Nobody gets anything handed to them on a platter, least of all a #1 spot. It’s earned.

BTW, Nole just postponed a webcast due to feeling unwell. Hope it’s nothing serious.

trufan Says:

Djoke won the AUS open and the year end No. 1 ranking. Murray won the USO and Olympics. Fed won wimbledon and regained No. 1 to break the No. 1 weeks record.

Who does this year really belong to?

If one of Fed, Djoke, or Murray win the YEC – I think the year belongs to that person.

If someone else wins it, then perhaps Djoke has the best claim to the player of the year.

(Nadal is not in contention for that honor this year, since he only won the French).

302 weeks at No. 1. That’s the final statement on fed’s reign at No. 1. 237 in the first stretch, 48 in the second, 17 in the third.

Not bad.

I guess the only remaining question on Fed’s career is – will he win an 18th slam, or retire at 17?

Arun Says:

Great win for Delpo.Served like one possessed.Law of Averages finally catching up with Roger.Congratulations to Nole on YE#1.But i still think Federer is the favourite for the WTF.Next year he can just go out and enjoy as he’s surpassed or equalled most of the records.IMO he will finish at 19 slams.I guess the only things left for him to do are win Monte Carlo and Rome which i think he will try to win next year.

Sienna Says:

Congratulations to the djoker Who now can again call upon the hardship of his people to dedicate his #1. His #1 ranking based upon the average scoreline not the most and biggest rices won

Congratulations you man of men. Always acknowledging anybodys hardship…..

the DA Says:

@ wog boy – “the biggest one and biggest disapointment for him trying to win gold at olympic games”

Agreed. Despite certain posters attempts at diminishing the importance of the Olympics, the emotional reactions of Fed, Delpo Serena and Murray spoke volumes about its status. At least he has another legitimate shot at achieving his dream in 2016.

Novak Djokovic Confirmed As The 2012 ATP No. 1 Ranked Player Says:

[…] ATP confirmed what we knew yesterday when Roger Federer withdrew from Paris, that Novak Djokovic will finish 2012 as the No. 1 player in […]

Joe W Says:

I should know this by now but how many players get into the YEC? Top 8?

moam Says:

Federer has nothing to prove. He manages his body in an intelligent fashion. His belief in himself is astounding. After having not won a slam in two years, he returned to the #1 ranking, which he stated more than once that he could do and he won another slam, which he also said he could do.
Fed is still “the man.”
The only thing Fed hasn’t done is win Olympic single gold. He did get the silver this year though.

mike Says:

Roger really threw the year end no.1 away since that Olympic final, he hasnt looked the same player at all

Djoko has scheduled better than Fed and it has paid off, he had it so easy winning in Toronto and Beijing and has such easy draws to make the finals of US Open and Shanghai, the luck was on his side just when he needed it.

jo Says:

Something has been missing in this dialogue: For years, Federer and Nadal dominated this sport. And then something happened: Novak Djokovic got tired of being #3: he got determination, got trained, got fit and, frankly, just got better. He developed nerves of steel as anyone who saw the Shanghai final saw. Because Nole got better takes nothing away from Roger: the danger is that Roger, rather than retiring in style as the best ever, can’t let go. Roger needs to follow Pete Sampras’ lead: Go out as the best ever… and then let Rafa, Nole and Andy battle it out. Players on the court cannot battle a former champion in the stands, but the legend on the stands can applaud both players, hand out trophies and be above it all. It would be awful for Roger Federer to end his career 17th in the world or something. He should go out as the Best of All Time. Right now he can.

Margot Says:

^ I agree jo, but Fed has repeatedly said how much he still loves playing the beautiful game.
Can’t see him retiring any time soon. Unless of course there’s a dramatic slip in his ranking next year, and I can’t see that happening either.

alison Says:

Anna and Sienna how dare he,i mean how very dare Novak Djokovic have the audacity and the bare faced cheek,i mean fancy stealing the number 1 ranking from your beloved Roger like that,Novak should feel well and truely ashamed of himself,its a disgrace absolutely disgusting lol.

madmax Says:

It’s great that every single player on the circuit wants to aim for number 1. Isn’t that the same for every athlete out there.

Absolutely certain, within the next 12 months, Murray will have reached and maintained number 1, for a while at least and very good luck to him.

I also enjoy the fights between novak and andy, because andy has worked so hard over the last 18 months to put himself in a legitimate position and now having actually won a slam, he IS now a real contender.

Trufan, why do you always go on about federer retiring? Are you scared or something? How wonderful for him to still have ambition, he doesn’t need to do anything else for me, for sure. He is the best and always will be.

The Swiss maestro already holds more records than any other man in tennis – but remains unashamedly ambitious.

Part of his rationale behind bypassing Paris this week was to prepare for the future. Quoted:

“I’m not going (to Paris),” he said after losing a marathon final to del Potro. “It’s the only right decision for me.

“I had some niggling stuff and I didn’t want to take a chance obviously before the World Tour Finals. I need some time to prepare.”

Go Roger! I’ll be there to watch you play!

The owner of an unmatched 17 grand slam singles titles and holder of the world No. 1 ranking for 302 weeks, Federer holds a swag of records.

Prominent among them is the highest number of major finals, semi-finals and match wins.

He has also claimed more season-ending championships (six) than any other player, has the highest winning percentage of matches at grand slam level (89 percent) and boasts more hardcourt and grass titles than anyone else.

Federer will cherish his 2012 renaissance season, ending a two year drought at grand slam level with a spectacular seventh Wimbledon.

At his current rate of achievement, Federer will hold almost every record in men’s tennis when he retires.

And the prospect of Federer bowing out any time soon remains reassuringly distant.

madmax Says:

Also, is it the 10th year or the 9th year that Federer has made the WTF consecutively?

Could someone answer that for me, save me looking it up?

alison Says:

Madmax it must get irritating when fans continually talk about your favorite retiring,although i dont think its anything personal as a fan im getting rather annoyed when people keep on going on about Rafa retiring,it would be great if those people would shut up and let the players themselves decide when they wish to retire.

Polo Says:

I think that Novak is a very determined guy blessed with the talent to accomplish what he aims for. He always said he wanted to become number one and aimed his sight on Federer and Nadal. He got what he wanted. Now that Murray is threatening to fight for the top, I am sure Novak has found another incentive to get even better and maintain his edge. I believe he does not want to be considered as just a very good player. I believe his goal it to be mentioned in the same breadth as Federer and Nadal. He feels he can do it and will work hard at it like he always does.

trufan Says:


Federer won’t play Monte Carlo. He still can’t beat Nadal on the slow red clay of MC. Nadal will be there, for sure, since that’s all he’s got left now (clay titles). Even on clay, Fed has nothing to prove, with 5 french finals, one title, 7 or so clay masters titles, etc. etc.

Fed will save his body next year and give up the rankings game. He coould just play 15 tournaments a year and still have enough points to stay in the top 4.

And Jo, Sampras was in the dumps in 2002 – hadn’t wqon a tournament in 2 years, was ranked 14th or something. He was just super lucky not to face ANY top 5 player on his way to the USO 2002 title.

Fed is far from that. Technically, he is still No. 1 this week. I think Fed will play for another few years, maybe as long as he can remain in the top 8 (that guarantees him not to face another top 8 player till the QF, and a place at the YEC). Over the next two three years, he will look to sneek in a title here and there, maybe even a slam, if he gets a bit lucky – which he is bound to, eventually.

Remember, Fed’s 17th slam was NOTHING like Sampras’s 14th. Fed beat No. 1 and reigning champion Djokovic in the semi, then No. 4 and home favorite Murray in the final. He won it the hard way, not due to luck. Can you even imagine how many more slams he could win if he didn’t have to face a top 5 player on the way?

Giles Says:

alison. Don’t worry Rafa ain’t going to retire. He said so when asked the question in the M6 interview in Paris on Sunday night. So just let the barking dogs bark!!

madmax Says:


seems to me that you are missing rafa, of course that is to be expected. Having said that, how about concentrating on his game, rather than what you think may or may not happen to Federer. You clearly are more concerned about Fed, but for your information, he is doing fine and really will sort out his schedule for next year, including monte carlo, once the 2012 is over, or hadn’t you noticed, we still have a few weeks to go of the tennis season.

alison, yup. I feel the same way as you. Girl power. :)

alison Says:

Thanks Madmax girl power yay lol.

Sienna Says:

Cheers Alison.

Novak is just a bum. No matter how many times he is # 1 for a few weeks at the end of the year.
it will all be sorted beginning of februari.

but we agree that we should not have to kill thousands and thousands of people over it.
Novak and his tribe would like to dedicate that one.

On a different note.

Are you americano? or someone else cares to elaborate on this Romney dude leading Obama in the national polls! WTF is going on over there?

talking about bummers if that man goes to office. That willbe a backset for women rights in the good old USA.

alison Says:

Sienna im British born and bred,i dont care about politics or religion im an athiest,Novak might be a bum acording to you but the guy has worked hard to get where he is,and whether you like it or not he is the no 1 player this year sorry.

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