ATP Montreal Ranking Implications: Can Rafael Nadal Regain Top Spot?

Shane LambertAnalyst IIAugust 8, 2011

Rafael Nadal
Rafael NadalJulian Finney/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal is currently ranked second on the ATP Tour as he's looking up at Novak Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are currently ranked first and second on the ATP Tour as the two players prepare to open their efforts from the 2011 Montreal Masters. Entering this week, Djokovic held a ranking point advantage over Nadal of more than 1000 and fans of the Serbian can rest assured that Djokovic will remain number one following the action in Quebec, even if Nadal wins the tournament outright.

Entering the Montreal Masters the top two players have the following amounts of total ranking points:

Djokovic: 12,860

Nadal: 11,770

Difference: 1,090

Last year at the Canadian Masters both Nadal and Djokovic made the semifinals, each picking up 360 ranking points for that result. If Nadal wins the title in Montreal this week he would pick up the 1000 ranking points for a net gain of 640 and he would close the gap between himself and Djokovic. 

However, even if for some reason Djokovic decided to withdraw from the tournament and failed to defend any of his 360 ranking points in Montreal, Nadal would still not directly re-gain the top ranking with a title at the Rogers Cup. Under that scenario, Djokovic would still hold a slim 90 point lead for top spot on tour.

However, Nadal closing the gap, though possible, might not be the most probable outcome following the Canadian Masters.

Djokovic increasing his lead over Nadal might be a more realistic scenario following the Montreal Masters. 

Djokovic's best surface is the cement while the hard court surface is where Nadal is most inconsistent. The world number two is by no means weak on the hard court surface but he hasn't won a hard court Masters event since Indian Wells 2009. Both Andy Murray, who beat Nadal in Toronto last season, and Djokovic should have the confidence if facing Nadal heads-up.