No.1s: Can Federer and Halep hold on at Indian Wells?

Published by Leigh Rogers

ON TOP: Will Roger Federer be leaving Indian Wells as world No.1? Getty Images
With the top seeds getting under way, and a number of high-profile absentees, Tennismash looks at how the rankings battle will unfold at Indian Wells.

Roger Federer and Simona Halep have both recently returned to world No.1 – but for how long?

As the world’s top players begin their Indian Wells campaigns, we’ve crunched the numbers on the different scenarios that could come to pass this fortnight.

Could both Federer and Halep lose their No.1 ranking in the Californian desert? 

Yes. Federer could be overtaken by Rafael Nadal, while Caroline Wozniacki has a chance to replace Halep at No.1 again.

How can Nadal become No.1?

Nadal has withdrawn from the tournament with injury, so won’t earn any ranking points. However Federer won last year’s Indian Wells tournament, so has 1000 points to defend. Nadal, who lost to Federer in the fourth round last year, has 90 points to defend.
When these points are removed from their current rankings, Nadal holds a 300-point lead over his Swiss rival. This means Federer needs to make at least the semifinals (to earn 360 points) to hold onto the No.1 ranking. If he loses before the semifinals, Nadal returns to No.1 on Monday 19 March.

READ MORE: Indian Wells men’s draw preview

What does Halep have to do to hold onto No.1?

The battle for the women’s No.1 ranking is a little more complicated.

Halep is guaranteed to hold onto No.1 if she makes the final – however a loss before then gives Wozniacki a chance to return to the top spot.

If Halep loses her opening round, Wozniacki would return to No.1 if she reaches the final.

If Halep wins at least one match but loses before the final, Wozniacki would need to win the title to return to No.1.

READ MORE: Indian Wells women’s draw preview

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