Men's Tennis Power Rankings: New Face at the Top

Rajat JainSenior Analyst ISeptember 20, 2009

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 15: Juan Martin Del Potro the 2009 US Open Tennis Champion poses with the US Open trophy on a viewing deck at the Empire State Building on September 15, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for ATP Tour)

Grand Slams always result in a reorder of the power rankings, and this week is no different. For the first time since Bleacher Report started with its Power Rankings, we have a person not named Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal at the top. 


The Top 10

1. Juan Martin del Potro  (1207 points)

Last four tournaments: U.S. Open [Winner], Canada Masters [Final], Washington [Winner], Wimbledon [R64]

He becomes only the second person other than Federer and Nadal to win a Slam in the last four years. His five-set win in the final showed character and resolve to fight it out, and the interview at the post-match presentation gave indications of a stable head above the tall frame.

Things are looking promising for the Tandilian, but his true test begins now as the expectations rise and he becomes the center of attraction.

ATP Ranking: 5. Last Power Ranking: 4


2. Roger Federer (1068 points)

Last four tournaments: U.S.Open [Finalist], Cincinnati Masters [Winner], Canada Masters [Quarterfinalist], Wimbledon [Winner]

This year has been nothing short of remarkable for the Swiss Master, as he added further jewels to his already sparkling crown. His 22nd consecutive Grand Slam semi, 21st major final, and a 16th Masters title meant that he had a good U.S. hardcourt series even though he lost in the finals at the Big Apple.

The Federer family has doubled, but the motivation and hunger to win has not dropped.

ATP Ranking: 1. Last Power Ranking: 1


3. Novak Djokovic (579 points)

Last four tournaments: U.S. Open [Semifinalist], Cincinnati Masters [Finalist], Canada Masters [Quarterfinalist], Wimbledon [Quarterfinalist]

The stars of the celebrity from Serbia are finally aligning themselves as his performances post-Wimbledon have improved considerably. He made it deep into the last two tournaments, and lost to a genius playing at his absolute best. A short and funny stint with John McEnroe was enough to get himself back into the good books of New York.

This confidence should be taken to the indoor season, where he would be looking for his first Masters shield of the year. Del Potro is lurking dangerously for his No. 4 spot, so this will be a good time to start his winning ways once again.

ATP Ranking: 4. Last Power Ranking: 3


4. Rafael Nadal (498 points)

Last four tournaments: U.S. Open [Semifinalist], Cincinnati Masters [Semifinalist], Canada Masters [Quarterfinalist], Roland Garros [R16]

The bull from Mallorca has started firing once again, even though not at his best as we saw in Australia. The match against Monfils was 'Rafa'-like, but Del Potro's magical performance and his continued abdominal strain cut short his march towards the career golden slam.

Nevertheless, he would take solace from reaching the semis and continue his quest towards his first Year End title.

ATP Ranking: 2. Last Power Ranking: 5


5. Andy Murray (445 points)

Last four tournaments: U.S. Open [R16], Cincinnati Masters [Semifinalist], Canada Masters [Winner], Wimbledon [Semifinalist]

After having a superb pre-U.S. Open series, he was looking strong to grab his first major title, but an injured wrist cut short his campaign. A risky involvement in the Davis Cup has only aggravated the wound, and there are doubts over his participation for the rest of the season.

ATP Ranking: 3. Last Power Ranking: 2


6. Fernando Verdasco (284 points)

Last four tournaments: U.S. Open [Quarterfinalist], New Haven [Winner], Cincinnati Masters [R64], Canada Masters [R16]

Verdasco may have failed to repeat the spectacle at Australia, but he has played consistently enough to have satisfactory results at majors. He had a pretty good run in the U.S. Open series by winning his year's first title at New Haven, but the abdominal tears that he gathered during the quarters might affect his performance in the coming months.

ATP Ranking: 9. Last Power Ranking: 6


7. Fernando Gonzalez (231 points)

Last four tournaments: U.S. Open [Quarterfinalist], Cincinnati Masters [R64], Canada Masters [R16], Washington [Semifinalist]

Gonzo keeps on showing signs of brilliance marred with inconsistency. His breakdown in the third set against Nadal was frustrating, to say the least. However, he still did well enough to repeat his best performance at the year's last Slam title (QF in 2002).

ATP Ranking: 12. Last Power Ranking: [Outside Looking In]


8. Robin Soderling (203 points)

Last four tournaments: U.S. Open [Quarterfinalist], Cincinnati Masters [R64], Washington [Quarterfinalist], Hamburg [R16]

His performances post Roland Garros have been good, but Federer continued to haunt him after he became the first person to beat Nadal at Roland Garros. He broke his racket and buried himself in his towel to put up a big fight in sets three and four, but he could not avoid losing to the eventual finalist for the 12th straight time.

The indoor season is when we see the Swede at his best, and he will be hoping to gain a couple of titles to book a seat to the London Tour Finals. He is not that far.

ATP Ranking: 11. Last Power Ranking: [Outside Looking In]


9. Andy Roddick (178 points)

Last four tournaments: U.S. Open [R32], Cincinnati Masters [R32], Canada Masters [Semifinalist], Washington [Finalist]

Disappointments continue for the Texan after his epic match against Federer at Wimbledon. Close defeats against del Potro at Washington and Canada, and a fifth-set tie-breaker against Isner at the U.S. Open will be tough to swallow, but Roddick has been known for his fighting ability and hard work over the years.

Having a supporting wife will help a lot. Twitter plays its small part too.

ATP Ranking: 6. Last Power Ranking: 9


10. Jo Wilfried Tsonga (173 points)

Last four tournaments: U.S. Open [R16], Cincinnati Masters [R32], Canada Masters [Semifinalist], Washington [R32]

He beat Federer for the first time to reach a semis at Cincinnati but lost to Gonzalez at the U.S. Open. He continues to show flashes of brilliance with traits of inconsistency, but at present the latter is more visible than the former.

He has a Masters title at Paris to defend in the coming weeks, so he better reverse the trend to keep his hopes for another appearance at the Tour Finals alive.

ATP Ranking: 7. Last Power Ranking: 7


Outside Looking In

Nikolay Davydenko (164 points)

A thigh injury forced his withdrawal against Soderling at the U.S. Open, though things were not looking good anyway. Barely managing to hold his ranking at eight, he will need to show more consistency to have any hope to remain inside top 10 this year. He has points from the tour finals to defend, after all, and they are a lot.


John Isner (140 points)

His fifth-set tie-break victory against Roddick made tennis fans to look up and take notice, but he bowed out against Verdasco in the very next round. Things are looking promising for the 24-year-old American, though.


Radek Stepanek (131 points)

He may have nothing substantial to boast about in the ATP tour this year, but he will definitely remember his struggle against Ivo Karlovic in the Davis Cup semis between the Czech Republic and Croatia. He emerged victorious in a marathon that lasted a minute short of six hours, four tie-breaks, a 16-14 fifth-set win and 78 aces from Karlovic.