Can Federer catch Nadal in the race for No. 1?

With less than a month to go in the 2017 tennis season, Rafael Nadal holds a 1,960-point lead over Roger Federer in the race for the year-end No. 1 ranking (10,465 to 8,505).

But all is not lost for Federer. Exactly 3,000 points are still available to be had by the 19-time Grand Slam champion: 500 this week in Basel, 1,000 at next week’s Paris Masters, and 1,500 at the World Tour Finals at London’s O2 Arena. At most, Nadal is only playing Paris and London; he withdrew from Basel as a precautionary measure for his less-than-100-percent knee. Check out the tennis betting odds for Federer.

The two all-time greats have dominated an otherwise injury-plagued tennis season that has victimized Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, and Milos Raonic among others. No one else owns more than 4,400 points in 2017 (No. 3 Alexander Zverev). Nadal and Federer split the four Grand Slams at two titles apiece, with Nadal getting the job done at Roland Garros and the U.S. Open while Federer triumphed at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. The top-ranked Spaniard has also lifted Masters 1000 trophies in Monte-Carlo and Madrid plus 500-point successes in Barcelona and Beijing. Federer’s title count also includes 1000-pointers in Indian Wells, Miami, and Shanghai plus a 500-pointer in Halle. Nadal’s total is boosted by an Australian Open runner-up performance and by the fact that Federer skipped the entire clay-court swing.

Although the 16-time major winner plans to return for Paris, he may not be in absolutely peak physical condition and it has never been one of his best tournaments. He has not reached the final since his first appearance at the event in 2007 and he last advanced to the semifinals in 2013. Nadal has also never won the World Tour Finals, whereas Federer is 52-12 lifetime at the year-end championship with six titles (two in London, plus three runner-ups at the O2 Arena).

Either Nadal or Federer will finish No. 1 for the first time since 2013 (Nadal). Federer last snagged the year-end No. 1 ranking in 2009.

9 Comments on Can Federer catch Nadal in the race for No. 1?

  1. Not sure about Fed winning Basel and WTF. Basel not as quick as Shanghai, Cilic or Delpo may beat him there.

    If Rafa’s knee is OK, I like his chances at WTF, as it’s not a quick court.

  2. VR, you said it best! Can he? Of course. Will he? No. Unless there’s some sort of miracle. To even have a chance, he would have to play Paris, and I don’t see him doing that unless he loses early in Basel…

  3. Despite Montreal, I think Fed will play Paris if he wins Basel. He has said finishing YE #1 means something to him, and he already has 6 WTF titles. So, unlike FO and Wimby this year, if Roger wins Basel, I think he will play Paris to win it, even knowing that it diminishes his chance to win WTF.

    Unless he’s injured, I don’t think his schedule will impact AO too much. There’s 2 months between them, which is plenty of rest for Federer.

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