Poll: Who’ll Finish Ranked Higher In 2015, Roger Federer Or Rafael Nadal?
by Sean Randall | December 5th, 2014, 2:11 pm

With the off-season (or cash-money exo season) underway, let’s start looking ahead to next year. Novak Djokovic is the clear cut favorite, but who’ll be ahead between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal? Yes, anything “Fedal” will fire up the fanbases, but it’s a legitimate question, especially for a slow Friday. Will it be the aging Swiss legend or the Spanish Bull who should be well rested after an injury-plagued 2014?

Rafael Nadal
The case for…
* Should start the year at 100% health, playing full schedule
* Should also be fresh after missing so much time in 2014 due to injury (remember his surge in 2013!)
* Still the most dominating player on clay, a virtual lock to win the French
* No real new clay rivals emerging (Raonic, Dimitrov, Nishikori – not really)
* Federer’s getting older, Djokovic is a family guy and Murray may have peaked
* After injuries must be motivated to prove he’s healthy

The case against…
* Body continues to break down – back, wrist, etc, what will go next?
* Getting older – will be 29 in June!
* Only one of the Big Four not “hitched”, does Xisca now put the pressure on?
* Djokovic came close at French, maybe gets over the hump in 2015
* Defending points first half of year, so seeding could match him with Novak in the SFs during early part of year

Roger Federer
The case for…
* Coming off excellent season
* Was healthy until very last weekend of the season
* Rivals not really at their best – Djokovic now has a family, Nadal/Delpo coming off injuries, Murray not at his best
* Still dominates the younger generation (Raonic, Dimitrov, Nishikori, etc)
* After slipping in ranks, seeding back in Top 4

The case against…
* Now 33, will be 34 in August (he’s 14 years older than Nick Kyrgios!!!)
* Back problems persist, could flare up at any time
* May further cut back on schedule – fewer points
* Motivation – Davis Cup won, no Olympics in 2015 so what’s really to play for?
* Younger generation continues to close the gap
* Is a father of 4 – priorities?

My pick: I’ll lean slightly to Rafael Nadal only because I saw what he did in 2013 after he had so much time off. So he should return fresh and highly motivated. And I think with his main rivals maybe not in 100% peak form, he can take advantage of that, dominate on clay and do well on the hardcourts and he’ll be playing more events than Roger. While for Federer at 33, 34, the injuries are going to continue to mount and I just don’t see a Grand Slam title right now in his future for 2015. Plus, should they meet outdoors that matchup still favors Rafa.

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40 Comments for Poll: Who’ll Finish Ranked Higher In 2015, Roger Federer Or Rafael Nadal?

Brando GOAT Poster Says:

Tennis X:

I love this site but I have to say:

How much is enough and can we please stop milking this site on the fedal clickbait cow?

I mean I love my fedal threads- a bit of scrap in those wars is good now and then. I enjoy it.

But this seems like the nth fedal thread in a row:

It’s just getting tediously boring.

I know Rafa and Fed are superstars unlike others and their fanbases are a colossal number in the Tennis family- the dominant number- but even they probably bored of this amount of coverage.

I mean this question on hand is as obvious as the sunlight:

IF Nadal is fit throughout the year, then likely him. IF he ain’t then Fed is favourite.

A reasonable assessment 99% of commentators out there can make.

It does not really warrant a thread one feels when it’s so easy to gauge.

My 2 cents.

Beyond which:

Well done to Sean and all the writers for continuing a excellent tradition of making Tennis a exciting thing to muse over here on this website that does bring it’s entertainment!

Sean Randall Says:

Brando, the last “Fedal” thread wasn’t mine – Tom started that – so I can see the overkill (and in retrospect I should have gone with a different poll Q).

We’ll also have the Tennis-X awards in the next few weeks plus the 2015 ranking prediction thread to look forward to.

But before then and I can post a few other polls, other ideas welcome!

Ben Pronin Says:

For once, I think this is a good question. It’s not only surprising but a little weird to see Federer ranked ahead of Nadal this season. I don’t think he does it again.

elina Says:

Agreed. This just comes down to a simple matter of how much of the season Nadal is injured.

Giles Says:

With Rafa’s abysmal Wimbledon once again and his injuries that followed on thereafter it was a case of making hay while the sun shines, especially for fed. Hopefully Rafa will have a healthy and successful 2015. If that happens Rafa should overtake fed in the rankings.
Vamos Champ!
Wishing for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015 for Rafa.

RZ Says:

Assuming Rafa plays a full season or at least through the US Open, I don’t see how he doesn’t pass Fed. He has many less points to defend. However, I don’t think he’ll pass Fed until after Wimbledon due to his clay season points to defend and Fed’s Wimbledon final points.

Hippy Chick Says:

TBH I think tennis-x forum should close for the season along with the tennis,i think it too needs a break,to come back with some fresh ideas,its like everything after a while it becomes stale….

Humble Rafa Says:

Still the most dominating player on clay, a virtual lock to win the French

Is the word virtual necessary? Think about that.

Michael Says:

Well, if there is a clash between these two Legends, the World is aware as to who would emerge the winner most of the time and so guessing that might be easy than to ponder as to who would be ranked higher as it has hinged on a lot of imponderables !! I think it depends a lot on Rafa’s present physical condition and whether he has fully recovered from his back and wrist issues which have dogged him right through last year and taken a heavy toll. So, Rafa’s performance depends a lot on his physical condition and it also remains to be seen if his physical condition has a psychological bearing on his overall game, for whenever Rafa goes in to add pace to his serve, he would remember his troubled back and curtail his urge lest it leaves an impact on his body thereby damaging it. At the other end, Roger is not getting any younger and whatever he is doing at the moment is incredulous at his past by sell date age. It is amazing that he is still competing to be at the top and is highly ambitious and motivated which are the hall mark of Champions. Last year, he had a feeble chance to become No.1 upstaging Novak. Nevertheless it was a tall order and Roger floundered in the end by a mediocre performance at Paris Masters and handing out a default win to Novak in the final. But the year was anything but extraordinary for Roger who also for the first time led his Country to its first Davis Cup triumph which must have made him highly emotional and relished a real sense of accomplishment. But, in 2015, it remains to be seen if Roger can maintain that temp ?

skeezer Says:

“With Rafa’s abysmal Wimbledon once again…”

FIRST time a Rafanatic has admitted to A Rafa shortcoming( one of too many).
Let us all take a moment of silence and meditate on the signifance of it all. A moment in Rafa infactuation syndrome desease curedome. Yes, there is hope in the Tennis world.

Damien Mills Says:

Good comment, Giles – I think you are right – Rafa will most likely go past Fed in the second half of the season as Fed has a ton of points to defend next year. Injuries notwithstanding, of course.
Skeezer, I can only imagine how Giles must’ve gritted his teeth to say that, and yes, I enjoy a bit of banter as much as the next guy when it’s all in fun, but let’s not try to “poke the bear”. Otherwise, you sound like a great dude and I enjoy reading your posts :)

Hippy Chick Says:

Im not a Rafafantic and i have mentioned many a time his many shortcomings and failures as a player,otherwise its impossible to have any such enjoyment on this forum,not that there is much anymore anyway….

Hippy Chick Says:

IMO This forum isnt made for Rafa fans,i have always believed the writers are fans of the other two top players,and would rather see a forum free from Rafa fans…..

Wog Boy Says:

“* Rivals not really at their best – Djokovic now has a family,”

Wrong presumption..if anything, Nole will be more settled ones he put marriage out of his way and started family, getting married is nerve wracking decision (in the part of the world Nole is from), sleepless nights “should I do it or not”…”I will lose my freedom”…”will not be able to go out with my mates”…”what if she is using me, they all want to get married:)”…”I am not yet ready for family comitments”..”my mother maybe right, it is too early, she is not for me”..and than BANG, we say YES, get drunk and everything is fine, wife takes care about home and kids and we take care about putting bread on the table..
So Nole is and will be right, didn’t he prove that at the end of the year already!!
Agassi said, few days ago, that 2015 will be Nole’s year and the one after and the one after and..:)
I think I had one too many drinks..

Hippy Chick Says:

Novak will finish number 1,Roger will finish number 2,Rafa will fall out of the top 10 next year,Novak and Roger will share the GS next year,Rafa will retire next year….

Hippy Chick Says:

Wogboy Noles not even part of the equation,he has it made as the number 1,the question was who will finish higher next year,Federer of Nadal?im saying Federer….

Wog Boy Says:

HC, can I buy you a drink, cider??
I don’t like to see you in the bad mood, Rafa will be right, he will battle with Nole for #1, trust me.
Can I now buy you a drink, please:)

Wog Boy Says:

HC, actually I quoted Sean Randall, he mentioned Nole, check the thread and no Federer will not finish 2015 ahead of Nadal, he has enough records already, doesn’t need any more..but then again, he is like Swiss banks, they want more and more money.

Hippy Chick Says:

Wogboy thanks yeah cider would be great with a dash of arsnic,its my birthday tomorrow,which is another reminder of getting older….

Hippy Chick Says:

Wogboy Rafa has less points to defend than Roger,so i suppose its feasible he will end the year number 2,Nole i dont think will lose the number 1 ranking till late next year if at all?i think the thing they all really want is titles and GS,mind you think is more about what we think rather than what they want?….

Wog Boy Says:

Ok, then cider it is, and let me be the first one to wish you Happy Birthday:)

Hippy Chick Says:

Thanks Wogboy ;)….

Giles Says:

The title of this vid is Rafael Nadal – Hall of Fame – Wait for your return.
I enjoyed it, hope you do too.
Vamos Champ!

Damien Mills Says:

At least you are at an age when, if someone tells you to wear socks, you don’t have to.
Happy birthday :)

Hippy Chick Says:

Damien many thanks :))….

Hippy Chick Says:

Call me cynical,when looking at Giles link,i dont believe for a minute that rivals and none Rafa fans really want him back in the game at the same level,i think its all said out of politeness,as i dont buy for a minute the commontators would really take too kindly to a player with a game thats more taxing and demanding on the body surpassing Roger whos game is so effortless and pleasing to the eye god forbid,sorry just saying??….

Giles Says:

Another stat I was unaware of: Rafa is the only player in history to do the Red Slam, Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome and RG.
Vamos Champ!

Okiegal Says:

@Chick……Happy Birthday tomorrow, oh kindred spirit!! Here’s hoping your day is lovely!! As I lift a glass of bubbly in spirit……..cheers!

Hippy Chick Says:

Thanks Okiegal your very sweet :))….

Okiegal Says:

@Chick 7:50………You make an excellent point! I checked out the link Giles posted……there were some great Vamos moments in it.

I checked out a Grigor you tube vid and I believe he’s surpassed Rafa regarding biceps……his upper arm muscles are huge……I hope fans aren’t accusat

Okiegal Says:

Oops!!…….sent too early…..meant to say…..I hope tennis fans aren’t accusatory of him….

rajjon Says:

Rafa is such an all out player that the wear and tear on his body doesn’t bode well for him in the future…..

Hippy Chick Says:

Okie its probably me been over sensitive,anyway great video and i hope he proves people wrong,about Grigors muscles well i hadnt noticed before,maybe its Marias influence lol?….

Wog Boy Says:

This is for Grisha fans, there are few ladies on TX who are Grisha’s fans, early Christmas present, you can skip first three minutes and start watching from 3:00, enjoy the Grisha (video) ladies;)


Okiegal Says:

@Wog…..You’re such a nice guy…..looking out for us women folk like you do……posting links that are easy on the eyes!! I like this kid’s passion and enthusiasm…..I wish him the best……and Maria is a lucky gal!!

Damien Mills Says:

Hi Sean
You mentioned suggestions for next year – how about some kind of tipping bracket? The ATP website had a season-long one a few years back, but not sure if it’s feasible for every tournament. Maybe ones for GS & Masters 1000s?
What does everyone else think? Would it work/be popular enough?

Hippy Chick Says:

Wogboy nice link not strictly a Grigor fan,but both he and his tennis are easy on the eyes,love Fabio morw but his tennis probably isnt as watchable,yes i am that shallow but only sometimes lol….

Hippy Chick Says:

Damien Mills i dont know what a tipping bracket is?but a lady poster called Kimberly does something called a bracket challenge for the GS,where you pick players to win matches from each round,and you get points,you pick the number of matches that will be played in the final in the event of a TB,we used to have one for the Masters too,but that sadly stopped….

edina kovacs Says:

Really, Sean, “aging” How old are you? As for Nadal and his “injury-plagued year”, hasn’t he always relied on some injuries. Odd to say, but the injuries are his crutch.This business of being away for months at a time: reminds someone of those who enhance their performance? And those who use the internet: learn decent manners, and don’t use gutter language and attitudes.
No,not Nadal. If he comes back, it will be another inexplicable year, when he wins and wins, whereas most players need time to get into match shape. And Djoke? Borderline something or other…

Dan the Man Says:

Nadal’s big advantage in 2013 was that he actually practiced some changes to his game that took his opponents off guard, but he won’t get that advantage again this year. He actually played a more aggressive game rather than so defensive which was a huge change and surprised his rivals, especially on hard court. He also changed his serving so he threw more hard serves up the T when down break point in the ad court rather than the lefty slice out wide. Those advantages will be gone this time around so he won’t make it back to #1 – Djokovic owns him now. He is starting to lose his dominance on clay too, though, and he is overdue to lose the French this year. Nishikori will be a big problem for Nadal this year, his game is starting to match up really well against Nadal. Still, I would give him the edge over Fed, but just because Fed is turning 34 this year.

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