As two of the most famous faces in tennis, we are regularly used to seeing Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer winning grand slams and competing for the top spot in the rankings. However, the rankings released this week show that both players are now ranked outside the top fours spots for men’s tennis for the first time in over 13 years. The Spaniard Nadal is ranked fifth and Swiss Federer is in the lower position of seventh. Is this the beginning of the end for the careers of arguably two of the best players to have ever played the sport?
Probably not! Nadal has won titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona already this year while Federer has been suffering with a knee injury which has kept him out of competing for more recent titles. They have both have had stellar careers with an astounding 31 grand slam titles between them. However, for Nadal aged 30, and Federer 35, it would be understandable to for them to have slowed down slightly as both of them are past the prime of their playing career.
Though as the saying goes its not over till the fat lady sings and neither of these players got to where they are today without gritty determination to keep on winning and are unlikely to let something like age stand in their way. If you ask either player, they would most likely say they still have at least couple more grand slams left in them. They won’t be making plans for retirement any time soon.
However they are no longer the top dogs in town, with Serbian Novak Djokovic and Briton Andy Murray occupying the first and second spots in the rankings respectively. Andy Murray in particular has had a good year so far with his most recent victory coming last week in the China Open final. This was his fifth singles title this year and his 40th in his whole career and portrays precisely why he is one of the best in the world right now. If this form continues, he is on course to overtake Djokovic as world number one which is a position the Serb has held for four of the past five years. Murray is currently competing in the Shanghai Masters so will try and continue his recent run of good form to achieve yet another title for this year and move ever closer to clinching the number one spot in the rankings.
Andy Murray is not the only British tennis player to have seen action this week. Johanna Konta reached the final of the China Open where she was beaten in straight sets 6-4 6-2 by Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland. A disappointing result but after reaching the final she has moved into the top 10 in the rankings. She is the first British woman to reach the top 10 for over 32 years. Konta and fellow Brit Heather Watson are now back in action in the Hong Kong Open and will both be hoping for further success in this tournament. British tennis has had a good year, and with any luck, this momentum will be carried along into next year.
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