Men's Tennis Power Rankings: Del Potro Climbs After Washington

Rob YorkSenior Writer IAugust 10, 2009

WASHINGTON - AUGUST 09:  Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina celebrates a point against Andy Roddick during Day 7 of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center on August 9, 2009 in Washington, DC. Del Potro won the championship 3-6,7-5,7-6/  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

This week we’re trying something a little different, based on a new ranking system devised by Feng Rong which attaches more points to the more recent events.

While most of the faces are the same as in past installments of the power rankings, this new method should give way to more fluidity in their order from week to week. Many thanks to Feng for his help in crunching the numbers.

1. Roger Federer: Last Four Tournaments Played: Wimbledon [Winner], Roland Garros [Winner], Madrid [Winner], and Rome [Semifinalist]. Total points: 634.

With the birth of his twin girls, the No. 1 ranking has probably been far from the front of Federer’s mind. Yet, thanks to his history-making results this summer, The Great Swiss clings to the top spot, though his lead is narrowing.

Now we’ll see how the new dad adjusts to life on tour again.

2. Juan Martin del Potro: Last Four Tournaments Played: Washington [Winner], Wimbledon [R64], Roland Garros [Semifinalist], Madrid [Semifinalist]. Total points: 607.

His win in Washington proves two things: 1) The youngest man in the top 10 is not buckling under the pressure of matching his stellar 2008 summer, and 2) His relative youth does not translate into immaturity in tight matches.

After squeaking out the championship match against Roddick, look for 6’6” del Potro to loom large on the hard courts, his best surface.


3. Andy Roddick: Last Four Tournaments Played: Washington [Finalist], Wimbledon [Finalist], Queens [Semifinalist], Roland Garros [R16]. Total points: 528.

In Washington Roddick answered questions about his ability to retain the level he showed at Wimbledon. Once again, though, a tight match was his undoing, despite his normally unimpeachable record in tiebreakers.

The good news is there’s still plenty of match toughness to be gained between now and New York.


4. Nikolay Davydenko: Last Four Tournaments Played: Umag [Winner], Hamburg [Winner], Mercedes Cup [Quarterfinalist], Wimbledon [R32]. Total points: 318.

While his game may not leave Federer shaking in his Nikes (he’s 0-12 against the Swiss), everyone else ought to be wary of the Russian. Having romped through his last two events in Umag and Hamburg, the undersized Davydenko appears to be back to his clean-hitting ways.


5. Fernando Gonzalez: Last Four Tournaments Played: Washington [Semifinalist], Wimbledon [R32], Roland Garros [Semifinalist], Rome [Semifinalist]. Total points: 291

In the clash between hard-hitting South Americans, Gonzo didn’t handle the heat quite as well as del Potro in the Washington semis.

He’s had a solid year so far, but good luck predicting whether or not the Flayin’ Chilean backs it up in New York.


6. Tommy Haas: Last Four Tournaments Played: Washington [Quarterfinalist], Los Angeles [Semifinalist], Wimbledon [Semifinalist], Halle [Winner]. Total points:  283

Aside from Federer, no man on tour has had a more eventful summer than the veteran German. After great results at Roland Garros, Halle and Wimbledon, though, Haas has lost in straight sets in his last two events, so one wonders if his comeback has peaked.


7. Sam Querrey: Last Four Tournaments Played: Washington [R16], Los Angeles [Winner], Indianapolis [Finalist], Newport [Finalist].  Total points:  250

The surprise name on this list makes it thanks to his win in Los Angeles last week and two preceding weeks of finals appearances. Like with del Potro, his fellow member of the Two-Meters Tall Club, the American hard courts are Querrey’s best chance to shine.


8. Andy Murray: Last Four Tournaments Played: Wimbledon [Semifinalist], Queens [Winner], Roland Garros [Quarterfinalist], Madrid [Quarterfinalist]. Total points: 198

Suddenly it seems ages since all eyes were on the British No. 1 and we were guessing where his first major would come. Now the hype has dissipated, and Murray has more than a small chunk of points to defend this summer. Better start building momentum now.


9. Robin Soderling: Last Four Tournaments Played: Washington [Quarterfinalist], Hamburg [R16], Swedish Open [Winner], Wimbledon [R16]. Total points: 198

An elbow injury took the big Swede out in Washington, contributing to his slide in the power rankings. Hopefully that will be a temporary condition, as it would be a shame to see the progress he’s made this summer come undone due to health problems.


10. Juan Carlos Ferrero: Last Four Tournaments Played: Washington [R16]; Umag [Finalist], Wimbledon [Quarterfinalist], Queen’s Club [Semifinalist]. Total points: 190

The forgotten member of the class of 2003 continues his most successful season since then. At the start of this decade a lot more was expected of this guy than quarterfinal appearances in majors and finals losses to players like Davydenko; still, after the injuries and befuddling slumps of the past few years, most of us are glad he’s around at all.


Outside Looking In:

Rafael Nadal – Total points 162   

His spring results still register, though greatly diminished by the passage of time. Now, after two months off the tour, it’s safe to say that no one’s results in Montreal will be watched more closely.


Lleyton Hewitt – Total points 116 

Like Roddick, Hewitt played his best tennis in years at Wimbledon. Like Roddick, he pushed del Potro to a third-set tiebreaker in Washington. He’s gotten less attention than the American so far, but with a few breaks it could be the Aussie stealing the spotlight on the hard courts.


Novak Djokovic – 113  

Lots of people have different theories about what’s caused the Djoker’s slide, but we all agree it’s happening. The American hard courts have generally been good to him, but he needs an injection of fresh momentum even more than Murray.


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