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U.S Open 2011
No. 2 Andy Murray
Murray is fast upon Novak Djokovic’s heels at this point. The Scot will be looking to make up ground on Djokovic in the coming months.
First, however, he’ll be under enormous pressure to defend his U.S. Open Championship. It is hard to predict how Murray will return to earth after so much celebrating and so much media attention given to him after his Wimbledon triumph.
More than likely, however, the win will spur the world No. 2 on. He will go for the top spot, which he’ll undoubtedly achieve. But Murray will not reach No. 1 by the end of this year. He will remain world No. 2.
No. 3 David Ferrer
Ferrer will be scrambling, as always, to maintain his spot in the top four.
He sits at 2,140 points behind Murray and 360 points ahead of Nadal, who rests in the No. 4 spot. More importantly, Federer is 1,435 points behind him at No. 5 in the world. It seems very likely that Ferrer will retain his ranking going into the U.S. Open, but he will, no doubt, fall out of the top four by the end of the year.
No. 4 Rafael Nadal
Nadal is the mystery because no player could come on faster, given this scenario, than the former U.S. Open champion.
With no points to defend, Nadal could amass 5,500 points quickly if he starts winning again. But there still is the question of his health, more specifically, his knees. Hard courts are far and away the worst surface for Nadal because of the jarring nature of his play. According to his coach, however, Rafa will return to action at Montreal. Then we will understand his prognosis better. He will end his season in the top four.
No. 5 Roger Federer
Federer will return to the top four by the end of the year with fewer points to defend and a more concentrated effort. Losing in the second round of Wimbledon has made the Swiss legend fully aware of what is necessary to stay in the top four. That is his goal. Being in the top four is a definite advantage in winning Grand Slam tournaments, which is Federer’s primary focus at this point in his career.
It is safe to assume that Novak Djokovic will end the season as the reigning world No. 1. He is fit, healthy and enjoys being at the top of the men’s game. He will dominate again, just as he did in 2012. Furthermore, Djokovic is not looking for a reason to lose.