Predicting the Biggest Risers and Fallers in the ATP Rankings in 2014

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Predicting the Biggest Risers and Fallers in the ATP Rankings in 2014
Francois Mori/Associated Press

Updating the 2014 ATP rankings is fittingly a computer's job. Its cold, calculating database is no respecter of Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic any more than it is for Andreas Seppi or Donald Young.

The rankings are determined by the tournament points a player accumulates for the exact previous year of any date. Players must grind through injuries and setbacks even as their triumphs are recorded. There is no rest, nor a human committee to oversee exceptions.

The rankings change rapidly each year. One year ago, Tommy Robredo was trying to come back from injury and his ranking topped 100. He is now ranked at No. 16.

Conversely, Janko Tipsarevic's 2013 ranking plummeted from No. 9 to his current No. 69. The only way for him to rebound is to accumulate several match wins over months of tournaments.

The following slides will examine the players who could most significantly rise or fall. This is not done simply by adding the difference between a player's rise and drop in the rankings. For instance, Florian Mayer recently climbed from No. 37 to No. 29. This eight-point jump is good, but not nearly as significant as Stanislas Wawrinka's ascension from No. 8 to No. 3.

The higher in the rankings a player is, the harder it is to move up. There is a ceiling. This explains why Nadal and Djokovic cannot really move up in terms of rankings climb, but most tennis observers would peg them to battle for the top two ranking slots in 2014.

We will start with a few names lower in the rankings, but concentrate most on the players who will either drop or rise for top 10 significance.

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