Saturday, August 15, 2009

Changing of the Ranks

July 25th 2005. That is the date that Rafael Nadal became the no. 2 player in the world. And ever since then, Nadal and current world no. 1 Roger Federer have held on to the top two rankings.

This four years of dominance saw Federer as no. 1 in the world for a record 237 consecutive weeks while Nadal also set the record for consecutive weeks of being ranked no. 2. Nadal took over the no. 1 ranking from Federer last year after winning his first Wimbledon and doing well at the US hardcourt tournaments. Federer fittingly regained the top ranking when he won his record-breaking 15th slam title at Wimbledon earlier this year.

For the most part, these two champions had a stronghold on the top two rankings, but there were a few players who threatened namely Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic. In fact, last year Djokovic had several chances to take #2 from Nadal, but he never capitalized. Taking 21 of the last 25 Grand Slam titles, Federer and Nadal are probably the most dominant top two players in the game's history.

August 17th 2009. This is the date that Andy Murray will supplant Nadal as the world's no. 2 tennis player. With Nadal (and Federer) both losing in the quarterfinals at Montreal, Murray reached the finals ensuring him of the no. 2 rank come Monday. This will be the first time in four years that another player will be no. 2 other than Nadal or Federer. Despite not having a slam title to his name, Murray has probably been the most consistently good player on tour this year with the other top-ranked players going through times of slump. His next goal will be to take the no. 1 crown from Federer and that could happen less than a month from now as Federer tries to defend his US Open win last year.

Sure to be a dogfight.

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