Google Down the Line!: THE LOW DOWN: Rafa + Nole to battle for no. 2 ranking - who wants it more?

Friday, May 16, 2008

THE LOW DOWN: Rafa + Nole to battle for no. 2 ranking - who wants it more?

Okay tennis heads, the stage is set for a blockbuster showdown in Hamburg! Rafael Nadal will face Novak Djokovic in the semifinals with nothing on the line but the no. 2 ranking - that's all folks.

Rafa, who recently acknowledged he could lose his position sooner than later, crushed his old friend and mentor Carlos Moya 6-1, 6-3 and hasn't shown any signs of the Barcelona blisters. Nole was almost as dominating in his 6-2, 6-3 dismissal of Albert Montanes and has looked determined to make his move towards the top.

I don't think we'll see a retirement from Nole after his Monte Carlo fiasco; he's also been very clear that the no. 2 spot is a bump on the road to his ultimate goal of world no. 1. But Rafa has held the spot for a record 147 weeks and he's not giving it up without an epic fight. And to top it all off, the on-court tension between these "card-playing pals" is pretty palpable - which will only add to the drama.

Who will seize the moment and take it?

(images via Getty)


  1. Rafa doesn't gift anyone anything, so if he should lose it that means it will either be a supremely hard fought battle, or God-forbid an injury. He's the master - he SHOULD come out on top easy on this surface.

  2. This is the match of the year so far with the exception of the Fed-Djok semi in Australia. There is a lot at stake for both, but especially for Rafa

    Man, I didn't think the #2 ranking would be up for grabs so early in the season. This is turning out to be a classic year in men's tennis!

  3. def jimmy - i think rafa sees the writing on the wall. the likelihood of nole taking no. 2 at some point through wimbledon is highly if not now, then soon.

  4. This one's a no contest: Nadal in straight sets. I think all the betting will be on when Nole will retire - at the end of the first set or once he sees he hasn't a hope against the clay court king in the second set either.

  5. I too, am excited for the match, but maybe it's just wishful thinking.

    This is Rafa. He's lost less than 2% his matches when he plays on clay.

  6. Thrash talk: Nole just messed with the wrong person ;)

    The reason Rafa states that Djokovic will likely overcome him in rankings: if you look at the current ATP RACE POINTS, Novak is ahead of everyone and Rafa is #2.

    Rafa tracks race points because it's the early indicator, while ATP ranking points are a lagging measure for most of the year...kinda like how fiscal policy pros track monthly national payrolls, but most people only notice the health of the economy through inflation or something.

    Eventually, at the end of each year, the rankings will match ATP race rankings, so it's all about early detection of the Mole sneaking up on the #1 spot.

    Vamos Rafa!


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