David Ferrer, the man whom Nadal beat in straight sets to become the first man to win the same Grand Slam eight times, has ironically replaced Nadal in the fourth place.
The ATP ranking system takes into account the performance of a player in the past 12 months. Hence, if a player has won a particular tournament in 2012, and manages to win it again in 2013, then all he manages to do is defend the points he had earned by winning it in the previous year.
This precisely was the case with Nadal who just managed to defend the points he had earned by winning the same event 12 months ago. Mathematically speaking, there is no new addition of points to his tally, which stands at 6895 points currently.
Now compare that with David Ferrer, who had lost to Nadal in the semi-finals of the French Open last year. By making it to the final this time, Ferrer not only defended the 720 points he had earned last year, but added 480 more by doing one better in 2013.
Nadal who missed the entire second half of last season as well as the first three months of the current season due to a left knee injury, has failed to defend a lot of points in the past 12 months. As a result, he was out of the top four until a week before the French Open.
The Spaniard, who had made it to the quarter-finals of the Halle event in Germany, the first event of the grass court season, has already pulled out of the same event this season sighting fatigue. The Halle event 2013 got underway on Monday.
Nadal’s pull out from the event means he won’t be able to defend the 45 points he had earned before a shock defeat at the hands of German Philip Kohlshriber last year.
Hence, his ranking is unlikely to improve before the next Grand Slam of the season, Wimbledon, which begins on June 24. Entering a Grand Slam outside the top four means running into one of the top four players as early as in the quarter-finals.
And if Nadal falls in the same quarter as either Djokovic, Federer or Murray, the tournament for sure would be robbed off a potential high quality semi-final.
Such a scenario could be avoided though, in case the Wimbledon organizers decide to give Nadal a higher seeding than his ATP ranking. They have done it on a number of occasions in the past, and it won’t be a surprise, if they do so for one of the greatest fighter the game has ever seen.
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