Federer’s Short-Term Shot At No. 1
Roger Federer is within reach of the No. 1 ATP Ranking for the first time in over five years after successfully defending his Australian Open title at Melbourne Park on Monday. But he needs to act fast!
Federer, who last held the top spot on 4 October 2012, moved to within 155 points of Rafael Nadal after claiming his 20th Grand Slam title and could dethrone Nadal as World No. 1 in early March when the ATP World Tour 500 events in Dubai and Acapulco conclude.
On 5 March, Nadal will drop the 300 points he earned last year by reaching the Acapulco final (l. Querrey). Federer, who suffered a shock second-round loss to Evgeny Donksoy in the Dubai second round last year, will drop just 45 points.
Federer is yet to announce whether he will take a wild card into Dubai. Nadal is entered to play Acapulco.
Should Federer not play Dubai, Nadal will need to reach the semi-finals of Acapulco to retain No 1. If Federer does play Dubai, his fate will be in his own hands. The Swiss can clinch No. 1 by winning the title. But anything less than his 97th career title will not be enough if Nadal wins the Acapulco title.
Federer, who last year stayed true to his word to put playing schedule and health ahead of chasing No. 1, may see Dubai as his best near-term opportunity to add to the 302 weeks he has amassed at the top of the men’s game. In March, Federer has 2000 points to defend after last year’s back-to-back ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title runs in Indian Wells and Miami. Nadal, in that same period, has 690 points to defend. That is 1310 points less than Federer.