Can Roger Federer overtake Rafael Nadal and achieve the year-end No.1 ranking?
Not likely, according to former American greats Lindsay Davenport and James Blake.
Speaking on the Tennis Channel, Davenport and Blake bother agreed that Nadal’s lead was too great, and his form too solid, for the Spaniard to relinquish the top ranking.
Nadal, with 9,875 ranking points, is currently 2,370 points ahead of the second-ranked Federer, who will likely have to win Masters events in Shanghai and Paris as well as London’s ATP Finals – and hope Nadal falls early at each – to have any hope of reaching No.1.
“It’s gonna take a lot of faltering from Rafa,” said Blake, a former world No.4.
“Roger can only control what he’s doing, but he can’t control if he plays Rafa in the finals. He’s gonna pick up points, but not enough to overtake him.
“I think Rafa’s got quite the inside track on player of the year at this point.”
Added Davenport: “Maybe when (the season) shifts indoors, obviously Roger is a bigger favourite to win those tournaments, he’s a better indoor player.
“But if Rafa has a good performance here in Shanghai, I think it’s going to be out of reach for Fed.”
Federer and Nadal both won their second-round matches on Wednesday in Shanghai to take their places in the last 16.
Federer is a former champion (2014) while Nadal has never before won the title in Shanghai.