French Open 2011: Top 4 Seeds Progress, a True Reflection of Men's Tennis?
With the top four in the men's game making it through to the final four, I wondered if they really are the best players around.
The current depth in men's tennis is immense, and players outside the top 10 are more than capable of winning a grand slam—like Andy Roddick, Fernando Verdasco, Jo Wilfred-Tsonga and Juan Martin Del Potro (although his ranking is a reflection of his injuries rather than ability).
Surely, Juan Martin Del Potro is at worst a top five player. Some of his shots against Djokovic in the third round of this year's French Open were ridiculous. If the match had not stopped after the second set, maybe Djokovic would not have progressed—certainly Del Potro looked like the favourite to win the next set if they had stayed on.
Djokovic and Nadal are, hands down, the best two players around; every Masters tournament or Grand Slam final this year involves one of the two. Monte Carlo aside, it is always Djokovic versus Nadal. If/when Djokovic does become No. 1, it will be exciting to see how he handles being the top ranked player. Sometimes it's easier to chase someone than to be the one leading the way.
It is is very interesting to see how long Federer can stay in the top four; at the moment it doesn't look like a problem for him. His confidence and domination of some players does seem to be slowly coming back. He appears to have relaxed a lot more and should stay in the top four for a few years.
The main question I would have with the top four is Andy Murray.
He was ranked fifth and moved up a place into fourth during a period of losing three straight matches. A player losing and moving up the rankings doesn't reflect too favourably on the rankings system.
Taking this a bit further, Nadal is becoming a victim of his own success and the poor ranking system. The vast amount of points he has to defend will cost him the No. 1 ranking sooner or later. Djokovic will be in a similar position at the start of next year. I would personally be in favour of a two-year ranking system.
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