ATP World Tour 2015 Rankings: Rafael Nadal Falls Below Andy Murray in Standings

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2015

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after missing a play against Fabio Fognini of Italy during the semifinals of the Rio Open tennis tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Felipe Dana/Associated Press

Andy Murray's climb back up to the top of world tennis continues with the news he has leapfrogged Rafael Nadal in the latest rankings.

The Brit is now up to third in the ATP world rankings, with Nadal falling to fourth place.

Murray edged ahead of the Spanish superstar by just 35 ranking points after his recent strong performances, which built on victories in Vienna and Valencia at the back end of last year.

Here is a list of the current top 10 and their points totals:

ATP Men's World Rankings
1Novak Djokovic13045
2Roger Federer9205
3Andy Murray5460
4Rafael Nadal5425
5Kei Nishikori5205
6Milos Raonic4980
7Stan Wawrinka4595
8Tomas Berdych4460
9David Ferrer4185
10Grigor Dimitrov3465

Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Nadal recently lost his first semi-final on clay in 12 years after falling to Fabio Fognini at the Rio Open.

Murray made the quarter-finals of the World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, only to be defeated by world No. 16 Gilles Simon—but the British player has now accumulated enough points to jump above Nadal.

Fognini's win over Nadal sees him as the highest climber in the world top 50, with the Italian rising six places to No. 22.

Felipe Dana/Associated Press
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Croatian Ivo Karlovic also matched Fognini's climb, jumping up six places to No. 23.

Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine is the biggest faller of the world's top talents, plummeting nine places to No. 33.

Journalist and reporter Colin Armstrong highlighted Murray's move above Nadal, and he believes further good news could be ahead for the strengthening Brit:

Col @_ColinArmstrong

Andy Murray has moved up to third place in the world rankings at Rafael Nadal's expense... Interesting year ahead for Andy!

Felipe Dana/Associated Press

Nadal was clearly concerned at his defeat to Fognini and said he has physical concerns as he searches for his best form, per BBC Sport:

I feel my tennis close, closer than a month ago, to the level that I want to arrive again. The truth is that I lack physical continuity. I can't understand why, but I wasn't in good shape since the second set. I am getting tired earlier than usual and I had some cramps in several parts of my body. It's odd because in all my career I have hardly had cramp problems.

Felipe Dana/Associated Press

Nadal's statement might lead us to believe that his injuries and age are finally catching up with him, but at 28 years old, there should still be plenty left in the tank.

But the Spaniard has played at the top level for so many years, and his body may find it difficult to respond as he pushes for former glories.

Murray was sensational at the Australian Open before running into an imperious Novak Djokovic in the final, and the task for him now will be to chase down world No. 2 Roger Federer, who sits almost 4,000 ranking points above him.

The British kingpin dropped to as low as No. 12 in the world as recently as September of last year, per BBC Sport, but has rapidly reclaimed the ground he conceded in 2014.

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