Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TENNIS TUESDAY: Resurgent Federer Reclaims World #2 Ranking; Post-Williams Era Beginning?

Federer Returns To World #2 And Aims Higher
After winning his fourth title of 2014 at the Shanghai Masters, Roger Federer is making an improbable run for the ATP Tour World #1 ranking by returning to #2 and is now only 990 points behind Novak Djokovic for year-to-date points, with the World #1 having to defend a whole bunch more points than Federer does in the final stretch of the year. With Rafael Nadal contending with appendicitis for the rest of the season, it should make life that much easier for the 17-time major champion to reach the World #1 ranking again, which he has already held for a record 302 weeks.

Has The Post-Williams Era Of American Tennis Begun?
Since Melanie Oudin won a title in 2012 the only American players who had won titles on the WTA Tour have been named Williams until this year when Madison Keys won her first title in Eastbourne (on grass). American Ali Riske won her first title at the Tianjin Open this weekend and earlier this summer Coco Vandeweghe also won her first title. Is this what the post-Williams era will look like?

Serena Reaches 210 Weeks At #1, Surpasses Hingis, Now #4 Behind Graf, Navratilova, Evert
Not so fast to dismiss the William sisters! The current World #1 has now been in that spot for 87 consecutive weeks, racking up 210 career weeks at #1, and this means that she has surpassed Martin Hingis. She is now (only!) 50 weeks behind Chris Evert's 260 weeks.

Could Sharapova Be The Next World #1?
Interestingly, Serena's arch-nemesis Maria Sharapova who has not been able beat her for over a decade (and 15 tries) may actually end the year at #1 if (as expected) Serena does not play the WTA Year-End Championships in Singapore starting next weekend. Serena is the defending champion but because she is only 566 points ahead of Sharapova for the year-to-date if she loses all those points all Sharapova would have to do is reach the semifinals and she would clinch the year-end #1. It's interesting that both Federer and Sharapova are in similar positions at #2 challenging for the World #1 at the end of the year. I'm sure that for Serena staying healthy enough to win Slam #19 is more important than the Year-End #1.

There's Always Someone Younger and Hotter
Looks like Grigor Dimitrov's days as the hottest player on tour (figuratively and literally) may be numbered. Check out this picture of 17-year-old Borna Coric on the cover of Croatia's Men's Health.

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