It was a hostile environment for Djoker, the top-ranked player in the world on the latest rankings, and he failed to show up on that massive stage. That made way for Murray to seize history, becoming the first from Great Britain to win the Wimbledon crown in 77 years.
But is that enough to propel the recovering Murray into the top spot among the best players in the world? According to the ATP’s ranking system, it wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t reality.
It’s hard to argue against that, so we’ll take a look at how the top five should look.
1. Andy Murray, Great Britain (ATP Ranking: 2)
It was only one match.
That’s what many people will take away from Murray’s masterful performance against Djokovic on the grass at the All England Club.
What happens if Murray travels to Flushing Meadows and bests Djoker in the finals there? Would that have you believing yet?
As the defending U.S. Open champion, Murray is riding high heading into the hard-court season. He’s at his best at this time of the year and is coming off of a career-defining victory against the then top-ranked player in the world.
Add in his Olympic gold medal, and there isn’t a player in the world who can rival the Brit on the court in the last calendar year.
Sometimes the points are misleading. This is one of those situations.
2. Novak Djokovic, Serbia (ATP Ranking: 1)
Reaching a Grand Slam final shouldn’t be a disappointment for Djokovic. Losing two in a row might be a bit frustrating, though.
It’s hard to take much away from him considering his excellence on the court. He has certainly earned the honor of being crowned the world’s No. 1 player.
However, Murray’s meteoric rise over the last year has been inspiring. During that span, Djoker has lost two other high-profile head-to-head matchups against the Brit, last year’s U.S. Open final and a semifinals matchup at the London Olympics.
We’re witnessing a growing rivalry that pits the best two players in the world at each other’s necks. The best part is they are both just 26 years old, so this isn’t something that needs to be settled now. We’ll see it play out over the course of the next few years.
3. Rafael Nadal, Spain (ATP Ranking: 4)
Talk about a letdown. After winning his tournament, the French Open, Rafael Nadal was dispatched in the first round by unknown Steve Darcis of Belgium.
It wasn’t even close, either. Darcis sent the 27-year-old packing in straight sets. Grass has never been Rafa’s strong surface, but losing in that fashion is certainly embarrassing for the star Spaniard.
He struggled in the early rounds of the French Open, too, trailing in both of his early-round wins. While he could fall back on his mastery of the clay courts at Roland Garros, he didn’t have that luxury in London.
He’s certainly still deserving of this spot despite that early exit, but we’ll have to continue to monitor how he handles the rest of the season. How his knee holds up may also be a factor in how far he slides up or down this list in the coming months.
4. David Ferrer, Spain (ATP Ranking: 3)
Although David Ferrer failed to get the better of Nadal at the French Open, something he has repeatedly failed to do during his career on clay against his foe, he has been playing at a high level throughout the season.
Ferrer has a slight 360-point edge over Nadal still in the rankings, but that’s mostly due to his participation in comparison to his countryman’s shortened season.
Sure, Nadal was embarrassed at Wimbledon, but if they meet on the court, it’s clear who the better of the two is.
5. Roger Federer, Switzerland (ATP Ranking: 5)
Roger Federer being relegated to fifth in the world rankings is truly a sad sight. Wimbledon in 2013 was supposed to feature a resurgent Federer, grasping at a legendary career that is slowly but surely getting away from him.
While fifth place in these rankings may be the goal of players around the world, it is a testament to the decline in the great’s all-around ability on the court.
Federer’s days as the top player in the world are clearly behind him. Winning another Grand Slam becomes less likely every time he steps onto the court, on any surface, as witnessed by his disappointing exit in London.