Google Down the Line!: RICHARD'S RANKINGS: Wimbledon


Friday, June 17, 2011

RICHARD'S RANKINGS: Wimbledon


The Championships, Wimbledon
ATP World Tour, WTA tour: Grand Slam
Defending champions: Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams
Singles draws: Gentlemen's & Ladies'


All Novak Djokovic had to do was make the French Open final. Well, we all know what happened. Rafael Nadal won and kept his No. 1 ranking. But try this on for size: If Nadal wins and defends his title at Wimbledon and Djokovic makes the final, the Serb will still ascend to the No. 1 spot. Even if Nadal makes the final and Djokovic only makes it to the semifinals they will change spots, but if the Spaniard makes (or wins) the final and Djokovic only reaches the quarterfinals, their rankings will stay the same. Here is another scenario: Were Nadal to lose in the first round and Federer win the title, Nadal would fall to No. 3. Talk about crazy!

No. 7 Tomas Berdych not only had a terrible French Open but he also has Wimbledon finalist points to defend and No. 8 Gael Monfils, who reached the third round last year, on his tail. If they both lose in the first round, they would actually switch places in the rankings. One American nugget: If No. 10 Andy Roddick summons the tennis Gods and claims the title, he could move as high as No. 7. Lucky?

With No. 2 Kim Clijsters pulling out, there will be no drama at the top of the women's rankings. Caroline Wozniacki could be a no-show and still remain the world's No. 1. However, the women's rankings are interesting because there are three distinct clusters of players that could see movement: New French Open champion and World No. 4 Li Na and No. 5 Victoria Azarenka are only separated by 70 points (pending the tournament leading into Wimbledon and their expiring 2010 Wimbledon points); a slight hickup or run by either woman will give them a bump in the rankings.

Similarly, No. 6 Maria Sharapova and No. 7 Francesca Schiavone are only separated by 100 points (again pending the week's tournaments) and with both of their games trending up, they could both move as high as No. 3 if they win the title and No. 3 Vera Zvonareva loses early. Finally, there are the No. 8 - 10 players, Petra Kvitova, Marion Bartoli and Sam Stosur, who are separated by 300 points. Stosur only has 5 points to defend while Kvitova has 900 points to defend. The Czech will need to make the round of 16 to even hold her points. Needless to say, there are a lot of possibilities on the women's side. But there's one person who could destroy everything: defending champion Serena Williams.

About Richard: A life-long tennis fan, Richard offers thoughts on rankings for both the ATP and WTA. He runs a tennis blog, The Let Tennis, and is the author of two books, including his latest, Anything is Possible. You can visit his website at http://richarddedor.com.

[Photo(s) credit: Getty Images]

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