Roddick's Road Back Into The Top Four...Again

Deep ChatterjeeContributor IJuly 8, 2009

INDIAN WELLS, CA - MARCH 20:  Andy Roddick  acknowledges the crowd after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden March 20, 2009 in Indian Wells, California.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

A month or so ago, I wrote an article similar to this. Back then, the possibility was a long shot. Now seeing the number four next to Roddick's name at the end of the year is a true and, dare I say, likely possibility. Let's start a bit before the Montreal Masters.

At this moment in time, I have Roddick getting upset in Indy because it's his first tournament back and all that. Then I have him going on a roll. I have him winning both LA and Washington.

While all this happens, Del Potro just keeps losing points, partly because Roddick's just better than him. Also, partly because of unfair changes in the point system. In a couple weeks, Del Potro will be around 1000 points back of Roddick (assuming the hip isn't a problem for Roddick) and Delpo will need to play twice as good as he's been playing to get back up to No. 5 this year.

Back to Roddick though. Going into Canada, here are the rankings:

1 Federer, Roger (SUI) 10,860
2 Nadal, Rafael (ESP) 8,485
3 Murray, Andy (GBR) 8,250
4 Djokovic, Novak (SRB) 6,920
5 Roddick, Andy (USA) 5,800
6 Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG) 4,705

Roddick is 1120 points back. But after seeing Djokovic's and Roddick's recent form, he'll will probably do better. Roger has announced that he probably won't play this event because of his first child. This gives Roddick a No. 4 seed and a 50 percent chance to get on Nadal's half.

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If Roddick gets on Nadal's half, a finals appearance may even be expected of Roddick due to Nadal's knee injury. He may have shot of even winning it.

I'll take a conservative approach just to be sure about what I'm writing. I'll say that Djokovic is out at the quarters and Roddick's in the semis. This makes the gap 960 points.

At Cincinnati, I'll put down Roddick for the quarters and Djoker for the semis right now because Papa Fed is back for this most likely (wonder which country his kid's gonna be born in anyway) and Djokovic is too talented not to make one semis at a masters event. Back to 1120 points back for Roddick.

Here comes good news for Roddick though. If both he and Djokovic make the quarters at the USO (the bare minimum for Roddick and the max for Djokovic in my opinion), Roddick loses 140 points but Djokovic loses 540 points. Roddick's only 720 points back at this stage.

If Roddick can match Djokovic at both Shanghai and Paris (and I am fully expecting that), Roddick only moves to 780 points back because he defends a bit more at Paris.

Now here comes the fun part for Roddick.

At the ATP Tour Finals in London, Djokovic is defending 1300 points. Roddick's defending none. Djokovic and Roddick will be in the same group as they are four and five respectively along with No. 1 Fed (barring a Murray/Nadal miracle). If they both beat the No. 8 guy (which they should be able to) and lose to Fed (personally, I don't want Fed to have another reason to be motivated against Roddick, especially if they play at Wimby '10), they are playing each other for the No. 4 spot. And I'll take Roddick in that matchup any day.

Thanks For Reading Everybody!,

Deep Chatterjee

PS: Djokovic can beat Roddick in London, but if he loses in the semis, Roddick becomes #4 anyway.