Swiss Maestro Roger Federer regained number one ranking after winning this year’s Wimbledon Championships at the start of July. By beating Andy Murray in the final, he not only captured his record levelling seventh title at the All England Club but also levelled Pete Sampras’ record of most weeks at the top of the world rankings.
Federer, who is regarded as the best tennis player in history by many experts, remained away from the top position for two years. Many former players and analysts doubted if he could ever regain the top ranking. However, the Swiss Maestro once again proved everyone wrong and got back to the top of the world tennis rankings by winning his 17th Grand Slam.
When Federer overtook Djokovic to become world number one, he had a lead of just 75 points over the Serbian. However, one thing which was certain was that Federer would break Sampras’ record of most weeks as the world number one player at the start of following week and the Swiss Maestro achieved that, resulting in more celebrations from his fans.
Djokovic could have removed Federer from top of the rankings by finishing one place better than this Swiss Maestro at the London Olympics and Cincinnati Masters but opposite happened and Federer finished one position better than Djokovic at both events.
With the help of those performances and Djokovic’s failure in defending his US Open title, Federer has stretched his lead over the Serbian to 1335 points. As on 17-09-2012 and the running week, Federer has 11,805 ranking points compared to Djokovic’s 10,470.
By winning the Olympics title and the US Open, Murray has also closed the gap as he is now standing on the third position with 8570 points. Now, the question is that can Federer sustain his top ranking in the remaining two months of this season or not.
The Swiss Maestro has to defend most points in those two months among these three players as he had won the Paris Masters and ATP World Tour finals last year. He also won his home event in Basel which has 500 points. This means that Federer will have to defend 3000 points just at these three events.
He can gain points only at the Shanghai Masters where he did not play last year. On the other hand, Djokovic does not have to defend many points in the coming two months. He is already leading Federer if we count points earned in this year so far.
The Serbian has 9910 points compared to the Swiss Maestro’s 8920. This means that Djokovic has a lead of 990 points over Federer in this season’s race. The Serbian can increase his points total at every event he will play in the next two months.
He has no points to defend from the Shanghai Masters as he did not feature there last year. He will have to defend just 180 points in Basel, 180 in Paris and 200 at the season ending championships. Murray will have to defend maximum points in Shanghai as he won there last year but he can gain at the Paris Masters and ATP World Tour Masters as he did not perform very well at those two events.
After this detailed look at the current ranking scenario, it’s evident that Djokovic has most chances to finish the year as highest ranked player. Although, he is trailing Federer by a handful margin at the moment but he has maximum potential to gain.
Federer will have to perform exceptionally well to defend the mountain of points that he won in this period last year. In comparison, Murray will have to do unbelievably well to capture the top ranking. Former world number one Rafael Nadal is out of the race as he is still trying to get rid of the knee injury, which has kept him sidelined from the tour in the last three months.