More Analysis Will Be Coming Throughout the Upcoming Week
First Power Ranking of 2014
- Rafael Nadal – A power ranking is supposed to look at the current state of affairs and plot a player’s position. Rafa won in Qatar and was runner-up at the Australian Open for the second time in 3 years. Rafa has added 1450 ranking points to his total. He’s #1, but he also has a few things to think about after Wawrinka took the big trophy home.
- Stanislas Wawrinka – I thought about keeping Nole at #2, but Stan beat him and won a title in India along with his Australian Open title. Oddly, Nadal’s Qatar title is probably keeping him ahead of Stan at the moment (is the lesson play a tune-up if you don’t take the title in Melbourne?). Wawrinka bullied people around the court and sent a message to the rest of the locker room that the perceived gap may be bigger than the actual gap between the top two and everyone else. 2014 is looking quite interesting at the moment.
- Novak Djokovic – He ended 2013 on a major roll. A 9-7 loss in the 5th set to the eventual champion is not the end of the world. Still, Nole needs to throw the gauntlet down at Rafa’s feet. Boris Becker needs some good results in the early hard court season.
- Roger Federer – His ATP ranking will say 8 on Monday. He lost another one-sided match to Rafa. Roger did reach the final at Brisbane picking up 150 ranking points. He did beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Murray convincingly. That is enough to be slated #4 for now. He has a lot of chances to add points this year so the 8th slot in the ATP rankings should not phase him too much.
- Tomas Berdych – The Big Czech as I have dubbed him acquitted himself well in Melbourne. He beat Ferrer in the quarters and played Wawrinka close in their semifinal match.
- Andy Murray – He did not look great in Qatar. His comeback from back surgery seems to be moving in the right direction as he won 4 matches in Melbourne and fought back to force a fourth set against a strong Roger Federer. I expect Murray to rise as his rust wanes and confidence waxes.
- Grigor Dimitrov – The youngster makes his debut in my power ranking. He played Nadal tight for three sets. If he can keep gaining strength physically and add a few wrinkles in terms of court positioning, he could be a threat to everyone on tour sooner rather than later. His win over Raonic set a pecking order for the younger than Delpo crowd.
- David Ferrer – He has had better moments. The bump of the linesman was not as bad as I expected once I saw it. Still, Ferrer does not look like the top 4 player we saw for much of 2013. He went 0-3 at the World Tour Finals and was beaten soundly by Berdych.
- Juan Martin del Potro – He did win his tune-up event. Like Nole, JMDP was expected the throw a gauntlet down at Rafa’s feet. The draw presented him with that chance, and he did not take advantage.
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – He looked solid in Melbourne prior to his match with Roger. He edges out Gasquet and Raonic for the #10 slot. Raonic also looked solid, but until he reaches a slam quarterfinal, I will let a veteran looking equally strong sit in front of him. Gasquet ….