Rafael Nadal Closes Gap With Roger Federer For Rankings Race Lead
by Tom Gainey | April 24th, 2017, 9:42 am

Thanks to his 10th Monte Carlo title, Rafael Nadal is now on the verge of passing Roger Federer for the lead in the 2017 ATP Race. Nadal added 1,000 points after beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas, and he now stands just 810 points behind the idle Federer.

Nadal now looks likely to pass Federer before the French and surely will be No. 1 heading into the grass.

52-week No. 1 Andy Murray sits 11th (Nadal won more points at Monte Carlo than Murray has won all year!) and Novak Djokovic is 20th.

And while Murray still leads the overall rankings, the Scot does have a heap of points coming off the in the next six weeks. With Djokovic also under major points pressure and Stan Wawrinka defending a French semifinal, Murray will keep No. 1 as the grass season begins.

But with Rafa (and Federer) defending few points the second half the season, things could get very interesting at the top of the rankings.

1 Roger Federer 4045
2 Rafael Nadal 3235
3 Stan Wawrinka 1590
4 David Goffin 1415
5 Grigor Dimitrov 1375
6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 1265
7 Dominic Thiem 1230
8 Jack Sock 1220
9 Albert Ramos-Vinolas 1175
10 Pablo Carreno Busta 1075

11 Andy Murray 930
20 Novak Djokovic 655

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19 Comments for Rafael Nadal Closes Gap With Roger Federer For Rankings Race Lead

Tennis Vagabond Says:

For those interested, looks like we have to wait for Estoril, May 1, for the return of JMDP and Kyrgios, and Novak is waiting for Madrid.

Daniel Says:

Things can change pretty quickly.

If Murray wins Barcelone he moves to #5 and if Djoko wins Madrid he goes up to #4-#6 range depending on how others fare. Just 1 tournament and things can change.

Same for what happened with Nadal here, he won MC, is now pretty assure to enter RG as #1 on ATP race and moved back to #5 in ranking, possbily entering RG as #4 as well, passing Fededere if he makes at least 2 finals of the next 3 clay tourneys he´ll play: Barceolna, Madrid and Rome.

Murray and Djoko are on yellow light alert right now. Let´s see how they´ll perform the rest of clay season. Murray already enters Barcelona so he is not afraid of playing several tourneys, considering he is pretty much rested. He wanted to win that Ramos-Vinolas badly at the end and it showed.

James Says:

Djokovic has 3600 remaining points to defend on clay, Murray has 2800. In contrast, Nadal has only 630, while Federer has a paltry 90.

Its clear who the rankings mover will be the next few weeks – Nadal. He will likely be No. 3, could even be No. 2 after the French. Murray will likely remain No. 1, at least till Wimbledon. Djokovic might remain at No 2, or could Fall to No. 3 by the time grass comes around.

Then Murray has a lot to defend on grass (another 2500 points. Its entirely possible either Federer or Nadal is No. 1 after Wimbledon.

The only remaining question is – who can stop Nadal from his 10th FO this year?

Van orten Says:

I have a feeling it’s gonna be a Rafa v rog shoot out till September
French, wimby, us open with the masters in between. They are the confident players on tour at the moment and even on a bad day hard to beat!
Number one Race is wide open and form and mind will decide the winner.
Twists and turns included!

Daniel Says:

Right now Nadal seems the safer bet. He made 4 finals this year already with 1 titel.

Let´s see how he will be in Barcelona this year and also the next 2 Masters. He only once sweept the 3 clay masters, that in 2010 the year he skipped Barcelona. Maybe he can get another one. But the field in both Madrid and Rome will be packed, everybody will play: Kei, DelPo, Kyrgios, maybe even Fed in one of those.

Matches will be tough from R16 on. No way there will be a Vinolas-Poulie semis again in one of these Masters.

Last year he got MC and Barcelona and than lost to Djoko and Murray and Burn out in RG.
He seems better this season and Djoko and Murray are not at the same stage they were last year. Let´s wait until at least end of Rome to really speculate on RG.

But Djoko and MUrray sure are getting in a corner. Only way for them to be up there again for RG is if they share Madrid and Rome. Anything less, won´t cut it: they need a big title in next month.

Paul Brainerd Says:

You all know that Federer plays great on clay. Losing only to the master of clay in final four times.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Great comments from Zverev here:

Seems he took the WC into Barcelona just for the chance to face Rafa again!

I admire his gumption, but seriously: he played awesome against Rafa. I don’t know what more he could do. Rafa was sublime.

autoFilter Says:

I like Zverev… but, if they do meet in Barcelona, I kind of hope Rafa goes full vintage and allows him only 1 game; these kids need to understand the phenomenon that is Nadal on clay.

gonzalowski Says:

TV, he played awesome against Rafa ??
don’t think so, he played very well 15′-20′, no more IMO.
After that he unregistered from the match. Anyway, he could be able to beat Rafa in Barcelona, on those 20 minutes he was able to make harm to Nadal.

Emilia Says:

Seems that all our talks and speculations are still about the Big 4.

DC Says:

lets not forget Wawrinka here. Hes won the FO earlier and if he is in form, he could pose a challenge for Nadal.
Im very bullish on Wawa – his performance has been decent this year and he is likely to peak in the next few weeks. Hes reached the semis of AO and finals of IW – both times losing to Federer. Hes also no 3 in the race.
Their last two clay encounters have been split 1-1, Wawa winning in Rome in 2015 and Nadal beating Wawa at barcelona in 2016.

J-Kath Says:

Not sure where to post this – it speaks to Federer and whether he plans to participate in the FO – forget which poster raised the question.


skeezer Says:


I hope he doesn’t. as great as Fed is playing, Nadal made him go 5 sets at the last Slam on a fast surface. Nadal is now home on Clay, looking good. Just can’t see Fed winning against Nadal on Clay in 5 sets. And there is lots of tennis in the FO to play before that.

sinha71 Says:

He’d be mad not to.

As a matter of fact, I would not be surprised if Federer was drawn into Rafa’s quarter there. It’s all icing for Federer now and he’d relish the chance to beat Rafa at RG where he’s currently 0-5.

Not to mention keeping the calendar slam in play which would one up him on Nole’s Grand Slam last year.

Nadal is Federer’s sole road block to that achievement.

skeezer Says:

He doesn’t need any more achievements at FO. Won that, done that. What he needs is fresh and healthy for Wimby and USO. He’s 36, not 26.

Daniel Says:

Every year Nadal reached Miami finals (05′, 08′, 11′, 14′) he won French Open. Seems the trend will continue in 2017😜

sinha71 Says:

He doesn’t need any more achievements at Wimby and USO. Won that, done that.

(But he’d love to do something he never did before. Correction, the two things I mentioned.)

J-Kath Says:

OK Guys – we’ll just have to wait and see.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Logically, I have to agree with Skeeze. Fed is the GOAT. But the GOAT, on a great day, is not on good on clay as the clay GOAT.

We have a fabled match-up issue between Rafa and Fed that always comes up – and has been a deciding factor in so many matches. But this is more than a match-up issue: unlike grass or hardcourts, where Federer has lost many times to Rafa but still has a dominant overall record compared to Rafa’s, on clay, Fed’s record is paltry compared to Rafa’s.
Look at it this way: if Rafa didn’t exist to stop him, would Fed have replicated Rafa’s achievements on clay? 10 Monte Carlos? 9 French, 9 Barcelona, etc.? Of course not. Because whether he’s playing Rafa or anyone else, Fed is not as good as Rafa on clay. He MIGHT have 4 French Opens, but that’s still less than half of Rafa’s haul.

So, if its a serious risk to his Wimbledon chances, Fed should skip the French, the odds are just bad for him, no matter how well he’s playing (and he’s come into the French smoking hot before!).

However, sports is all about the fun of the challenge, and I think Fed loves the challenge. Its easy from my living room, but I love the challenge for Fed too, and I hope he takes it. It would add a lot of fun to the tournament.

So my Fed-fan vote is counter to Skeezes: play the French!

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