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Rafael Nadal Will Hang On To The No.1 Ranking Deep Into 2014

Rafael Nadal Will Hang On To The No.1 Ranking Deep Into 2014

Nov 16, 2013

Rafael (Rafa) Nadal has won the year end no. 1 ranking for the 3rd time in his career. With his finals showing at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, he has also built up a healthy lead of around 1000 points over Novak Djokovic. Looking forward to 2014, the fate of no. 1 ranking seems heavily weighed in Nadal’s favour.

The 2014 season would kick start with the Australian Open, where Rafa Nadal has no points to defend. In contrast, Djokovic is the 2013 champion there and thus defending 2000 points. This would be followed events at Acapulco, Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami to complete the first quarter of 2014.

During this stretch, Rafa would be defending around 1800 points, while Djokovic would defend around 2900 points. If we look at Rafa’s form on hard courts in 2013 and the nature of courts at the Aussie Open and Indian Wells, we can expect Rafa to do well there.

Rafa has displayed much more aggressive tennis on the hard courts this year, mostly playing inside or near the baseline, and using his serve and especially forehand effectively to create great trouble for his opponents. This trend would continue in the hard court tournaments next season. So, he should most likely hang on to the no 1 ranking till March 2013.

After that, the 2nd quarter usually is Rafa’s best period of the year on the clay courts of Europe. Though he has many points to defend during the period, he has dominated for years on end during this stretch, and apart from Djokovic, there is not any tennis player who can challenge him on clay.

Even Djokovic lags Rafa 3-13 in their clay head to head. Seeing Rafa’s current rich vein of form, it would be safe to assume that he would sweep through the clay season and return with a record 9th French Open crown to retain the no. 1 ranking.

After the French Open, Rafa again goes into Wimbledon with no points to defend and can gain some valuable ranking points there. Rafa’s first real test would come after that in the North American hard court swing as he defends an unbeaten stretch on the hard courts there. This would be around September 2014 when the rankings might change hands again if Rafa slips from his lofty hard court heights set this year.

So, we can safely say that Rafa would hang on to the no. 1 ranking deep into 2014, and attain further glory and success in the year. He would mostly likely surpass Sampras’ Grand Slam tally of 14 and step ever closer to Federer’s record of 17 Grand Slam titles.


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