Rafael Nadal is playing as well as anyone in the sport of tennis, but he is still losing ground in the world rankings.
On Sunday, the Spanish star won his eighth career French Open with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win over compatriot David Ferrer. It was his seventh tournament title of the year since returning from a knee injury, and it was the fourth championship in a row.
That didn't help him with his world ranking, though:
Interestingly, it is Ferrer who jumps up a spot after losing so handily in the Grand Slam final.
The reason for this is that the ATP rankings are gained throughout the year on a rotating basis. It only encompasses accomplishments for the past 52 weeks of play—everything else is thrown out.
As the defending champion, Nadal stood to lose 2,000 points that was gained for winning the Grand Slam tournament one year ago if he failed to compete. By repeating at the tournament this year, he simply defended his own points and remained at the same level.
Meanwhile, Ferrer made a jump thanks to his improvement compared to last year. The veteran loses the 720 points he received from being a semifinalist a year ago, and he gained 1,200 for reaching the finals this year for a net gain of 480.
This puts him 325 points ahead of Nadal for the No. 4 spot in the world rankings. Of course, everyone is still far behind Novak Djokovic for the top spot on the list (11,830 points).
The good news is that Nadal will have an easy time gaining points for the rest of the year. In 2012, he only participated in two more tournaments after Roland Garros and had an early exit in each. As long as he lives up to expectations and continues to play like he did at the French Open, he will gain plenty of points over the next few months.
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