Rafael Nadal: If I Keep Playing Well, Then Maybe I Can Return To No. 1!
by Tom Gainey | June 11th, 2017, 5:07 pm

Who would have believed 12 months ago after leaving the French Open that Novak Djokovic would be down to No. 4 in the rankings and Rafael Nadal would be in position to overtake Andy Murray for the top spot this summer.

Nadal is slowing make such speculation reality after coasting to his 10th French Open and 15th Slam title today, dismissing Stan Wawrinka 62, 63, 61. Nadal’s win moves his back to No. 2 in the rankings just 2,600 points from Andy Murray.

Murray will have to defend 2,500 points and with Nadal having skipped the grass last year, Rafa is in prime position to take the lead. And he even knows it!

“I am playing well,” Nadal said. “I am in a good position. I just won the most important event of the year for me, so that’s the only thing that matters today. Winning these kind of titles, then you have chances to become any number on the ranking. I don’t know. I am playing well. If I am able to keep playing well, why not?”

Nadal, who first reached No. 1 on August 8, 2008, hasn’t been ranked No. 1 since July 6, 2014.

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34 Comments for Rafael Nadal: If I Keep Playing Well, Then Maybe I Can Return To No. 1!

Daniel Says:

Any player who is holding a Slam has a shot at #1, and he is in prime position right now.

Murray will have to defend a lot on grass and than later part of the year. If there are 4 different Slam winners this year, it could be a 4 man race.

At least Andy and Djoko are now in top 10 race points, but Nadal has 6915 and the second best is Federer at 4045. Meaning Fed will have to win 2870 pts more than Nadal the rest if the year. It’s possible for him who almost always makes more points than Nadal, but that depends on how many more tournaments both play and if they maintain injury free.

rognadfan Says:

Fed clearly won’t be chasing #1; doesn’t make sense for him to do so anyway.
For Rafa, now that he is healthy, he could make one push for that. # 1 prospects look great for him. If he returns to Wimby final and murray loses early then who knows?

gonzalowski Says:

Grande Rafaaaa!!!!
It appears he will play Queens.

Daniel Says:


Even if Fed is not pursuing #1, it may come to him. If he wins Halle and Wimbledon suddenly he has 2500 its more. And if Nadal makes QF in Queens and Wimbledon (just 450 pts), suddenly they will finish grass less than 1000 pts away.

It depends on who wins the big titles and how they will perform in Wimby and USO.

If Murray wins Wimbledon again. Very likely with the way he was finding his form again on RG, he may retain it.

Nits Says:

Men’s tennis is getting more and more interesting with resurgence of Fedal.

Daniel Says:

Done some quick math and with Nadal’s total points Fed can’t pass him in Wimbledon seedings, not even if he wins Stuttgart and Halle.

Murray is guarantee #1 seed and Djoko can pass Nadal for #2 seed depending on how they will perform in Queens/Halle.

Their breakdown:

– Federer: 4765 + (2017 grass) + 720 (Wimby 2016) + 0.75 x 1200 (Wimby 2015) = 6385. Even if he wins 250 Stut and 500 Halle, the max he can reach is 7145 pts

– Djoko: 5805 + (2017 grass points) + 90 (Wimby 2016) + 0.75 x 2000 (Wimby 2015) = 7395 pts _ Queens 2017

– Nadal: 7285 + (2017 grass points) + 0 Wimby 2016 + 0.75 x 45 (Wimby 2015) = 7318,75 + Queens

– Wawrinka: 6175 + (2017 grass) + 45 Wimby 2016 + 0.75 x 360 (Wimby 2015) = 6490 pts + grass 2017

This means that Djoko and Nadal are already guarantee top 3 seed, and if Djoko and Nadal go the same round in Queens, Djoko will be seeded #2 ahead of Nadal #3 for Wimbledon.

Fed can get the #4 seeding depending on how well he does in Stuttgart and Halle ad what Wawrinka does. This way he would avoid Murray, Djoko or Nadal in QF and could only meet one of them in semis.

If Djoko gest #2, Nadal #3 and Fed #4, we’ll have the Big 4 with the top #4 seeds in Wimbledon and Fedal can only happens in finals.

RZ Says:

Thanks for the breakdown Daniel!

squirrel Says:

Yeah, nice breakdown, thanks Daniel. Hope Fed gets that no 4 seed.

nadalista Says:


Van Persie Says:

Big congrats to Rafa!

Am sure, he will be Nr. 1 at the end of this year.
Do not think, he will win Wmby but he has a great shot at UO2017. Who knows, perhaps he may also finally get a WTF trophy!

Tumi Says:

@Daniel, you have one mistake in your calculation for Federer. It’s 4765+(750)+(grass points addition)= 4765+750+(750+720+1200*0.75). So you have left out one 750, ie the 750 he will gain in his actual ranking points too. So his Total would be 7885.

Tumi Says:

@Daniel, you have one mistake in your calculation for Federer. It’s 4765+750+(grass points addition) = 4765+750+(750+720+1200*0.75). So you have left out one 750, ie the 750 he will gain in his actual ranking points too. So his total would be 7885.

LUCY Says:

I wouldn’t expect too much from Nadal on the grass. It’s not his best surface after all and there are others who are currently better on it, such as Murray, Federer and even players such as Cilic and Dimitrov. Nadal has done brilliantly but I don’t think the number one spot will be his just yet, unless Murray has a complete downfall, which is unlikely on his best surface….
Rafa may get to number one towards the latter part of the year perhaps, as Murray has loads of points to defend during the hard-court season – except the US Open of course, where he only reached the quarters. It will be an interesting time!

Amit Says:

Would love to see federer/Murray winning WIM & USO… My first choices… ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ

Tumi Says:

So essentially if federer wins Stuttgart and Halle he will end up with 7885* grass adjusted points as illustrated above.
Novak would be 5805+(90+2000*0.75)=7395. If rafa doesn’t reach the final in queens say he reaches the semi, he will have 7285+(0+45*0.75)+180+180+ 7678.75. Even if Stan wins queens he wouldn’t pass Federer in this scenario. In a nutshell, if federer wins Stuttgart and Halle, and Rafa doesn’t reach the final at Queens, Federer will get the number 2 seed.

Daniel Says:


I already added Fed’s 750 if he wins Stutgart and Halle as his best possoble scenario. He can not get seeded higher than 4.


If yiu see the race ooints Andy and Djoko are 5000 pts behind Nadal and Federer 2900 pts. Murray will have to earn 5000 pts more than Nadal the reamininf of the year. Possible, last year alone he won 4500 in last 5 events and if he retains his grass crowns (500 Queens and 2000 in wimby) is half way through. Bit this assuming Nadal doesn’t do well the later part of the season.

He reached several finals this year and with his confidence he can reach a few more. But certailny is vulnerable for upset in this part of the season, faster courts.

Fed and Nadal can play a few more tines this season, tournesy on paparr they will play together: Wimby, Canada, Cincy, USO, Shangai, Paris, WTF. 7

But in reality the max they can play is 5. Don’t see Fed okay all of them. So, luckly they can play at least 3 more times this year.

Ealry part of the season all 3 tourney they played together they clash.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

If there are 4 slam winners, Rafa will likely end up as #1.

He and Fed have each dominated a ‘slam section’ of the year: Fed won Oz, Miami, Indian Wells. Rafa won French, Madrid and Monte Carlo.

However, while Fed was dominating, Rafa was the solid 2nd best. While Rafa was dominating, Fed was on holiday.

hence, Rafa has almost 3,000 point lead on Fed in the Race, and 5,000 point lead on Andy.

Yes, Fed or Andy could theoretically win with one slam if they dominate remaining masters, but its unlikely.

Someone needs to win 2 slams, or Rafa will end the year #1. *

*unless Rafa takes a knee for the remainder of the season.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

…in fact, even if Fed wins Wimbledon, he will still likely trail Rafa going into hardcourt season.

So Fed could win 2 slams, Rafa 1, and Rafa would still win due to the incredible performance at every big event so far this year.

Tumi Says:

@Daniel, yes you have added the 750, but you didn’t take into account that the 750 is not only added to his atp ranking points but also to the grass adjustment, meaning it will have a double effect. ie his ranking points would increase by 750 from 4765 just before wimbledon to 5515, but the adjustment will be (250+500+720+0.75*1200). therefore total =5515+2370=7885.

Daniel Says:

Tumi, you are right, forgot to add those for his rolling 52 weeks ranking๐Ÿ˜ฑ

So, this makes it even more interesting as Federer can actually get the #2 seed for Wimbleodn.

TV, if Fed wins Wimbledon even of he is trialling Nadal for 500-1000 pts he wiuld have a better shot than him at #1. Nadal never won Shamgai, Paris nor WTF and Fed would have a better shot in all of those than him. Historically Federer always acumulated more points than Nadal post Wimbledon.

Wimbledon will be crucial. Because if Murray wins it, things can be determine in USO and WTF. If there will be a fourth different Slam winner.

Nadal is in a postion that basically if he males one more Slam final and goes QF or above in all torneys he plays he can finish #1.

I said in the begginig of the year once Murray and Djoko started faltering that #1 rabking would be around 10.000 pts. As no player seems to be dominating the whole year.

So far, Fed dominated AO-Miami, with Nadal solid 2nd and Nadal dominated clay with no clear 2nd and Fed gone. Let’s see what happens with grass.

North America HC swings has 4.000 pts (2 Masters and a Slam) and rest of the year 4000 more (Shangai, Paris, 1 ATP 500 and 1500 WTF).

J.S. Says:

Rafa pulled out of Queens to rest.

skeezer Says:

^not a good sign.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Interesting- that’s the only grass tournament he was playing before Wimbledon. When Fed pulled out of the French, Rafa commented how obvious it was that no one in their right mind would skip all the clay warm-ups and then play Roland Garros…

For Rafa, the first week on grass has been much more dangerous than for the other top guys. Coming in cold will be tough. If he plays at all.

Any history on how Rafa has done with no grass tune-ups? I’m sure its happened before.

J.S. Says:

I bet he skips Wimbledon too!! Just a guess since he wouldn’t go in with out a warm up.
Maybe waiting for America events – that would be next on his schedule!

Wog Boy Says:

Nole won three Wimbledons without warm up tournaments, just saying…beating two best ever players in the finals, twice the so-called “the GOAT” on the grass, his best surface, just saying.

You don’t need warm up tournaments for Wimbledon, you just need to survive first week and then it is CC season continues, no?

Rafa is the favorite for Wimbledon, smart move Rafa team.

skeezer Says:

^the new rafa fan speaks.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

It would be in keeping with the unexpectedness of the season for Rafa to pull a Fed: achieve complete domination for two months, then skip a least favourite surface, which he’s also blamed for knee problems.
Last five years for rafa at Wimbledon: 2R, 1R, 4R, 2R, A.

Of course, if he plays he’s got a legit shot, but if he’s looking to take a break in the year, and not risk his confidence, this is the time.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

if he DOES play, that improved serve could be a huge difference maker.

Wog Boy Says:

Look who is talking, the most famous bandwagoner on TX, Slimy.
I am sure that you read my posts carefully in the last 8-9 years and that you know that Rafa was my favorite before Nole, and second favorite until 2010 WTF, since then I don’t have a second favorite and atm I don’t have a favorite too, maybe Thiem.
So yes, meanwhile I’ll cheer Rafa, any problems Slimy?
I’ll rather stop watching tennis than cheer legally juiced so-called “the GOAT”.

kjb Says:

Wogboy is slowly losing it.

skeezer Says:

“…any problems Slimy?”
Case in point.

skeezer Says:


kjb Says:

@skeezer Its been a year long process. Since the Querrey/Djokovic 3R match at Wimby.

Wog Boy Says:

Who else is better to know the term of “losing it” than Fed fanatics (2012-2017),…grandpa, not in his prime…you name it, until Russian hackers last year show him (them) the way out of “losing it”.

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