Rafael Nadal staying on top in the latest tennis rankings was expected, but Roger Federer dropping to number 3 is surprising many. But should it?
See below for slideshow of top ten
1 Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
2 Djokovic, Novak (SRB)
3 Federer, Roger (SUI)
4 Murray, Andy (GBR)
5 Soderling, Robin (SWE)
6 Davydenko, Nikolay (RUS)
7 Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG)
8 Berdych, Tomas (CZE)
9 Roddick, Andy (USA)
10 Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
Since winning the Australian Open in January, Federer has not won a tournament. In fact, he only made one final where he lost to Lleyton Hewitt in Germany. Hewitt has not beaten Federer in the last 16 times spanning seven years.
In the French Open, Robin Soderling blasted Federer and in similar manner, Tomas Berdych took apart the former number one at Wimbledon. Federer had an 8-2 record against Berdych.
The pattern is unmistakable, Federer is losing to players he used to beat consistently. The watch is on to see if Federer will continue to slide in the rankings.
While Nadal is clearly widening the gap from the rest of the players and Federer dropping, there were few other changes in the top ten that garner much attention.
Novak Djokovic at number two is just a numbers game. No one really expects Djokovic or Andy Murray at number 4 to challenge Nadal. The biggest threats to Nadal should come from Soderling at 5 and Juan Martin Del Potro at number 7. Nikolay Davydenko, at 6 was on a run at the end of 2009, but doesn’t have the firepower to bother Nadal.
Berdych, who jumped five positions to number 8, has a similar power game to Soderling. Wimbledon showed that Nadal can withstand the strong strokes of both Soderling and Berdych.
Andy Roddick at number 9 is in the same downward spiral as Federer. Time is running out on the top American who is hearing the footsteps of fellow Americans Sam Querry and possibly John Isner.
Fernando Verdasco rounds the top ten but seems to be stuck in the Nadal lite mode and at present does not have the tenacity to scare Nadal.
Barring injuries, the rankings seem set for the rest of 2010 unless Federer can muster some second wind; Nadal looks ready to go on a run to challenge Federer’s incredible record.