Andy Murray told reporters in Cincinnati yesterday that only “a couple of matches” are keeping him from the No. 1 spot:
It’s not that far. It’s a matter of a couple of the matches. You know, if I had had a slightly better run at the Australian Open or instead of losing a tight one to Roddick in the semis at Wimbledon, who knows. I know it’s a long way from losing the semifinals to winning, but that would have made a huge difference. I would be very close to Roger in the rankings if I had won those two matches from the semis onwards. That’s really the only difference, is getting a slam between being No. 1 and 2, I think. Because the consistency in the other tournaments has been pretty similar.
Murray’s right about the margins – the No. 1 ranking could be determined by just one or two matches. But winning a Slam is not as important to the ranking as he thinks. The Guardian, U.K. figures that Andy Murray will surpass Roger Federer as World No. 1 if he:
1. Defends his title this week in Cincinnati and
2. Outperforms Roger at the US Open.
One possible scenario: Murray retains his Ohio title and loses to Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal or Fred Niemeyer (i.e. anyone other than Federer) in the US Open finals. Suddenly, Safina has a Vice-President in the Slamless No. 1 Club.
Andy Murray has no problem with that:
“If I was to get to No.1 before winning a grand slam I would be very, very happy. If people are using that to be a bit disrespectful to other tournaments, that’s not right. This isn’t just a four-tournament a year ranking system.”
I’m guessing Andy won’t be too disappointed if he loses in Cincy but wins the US Open this year – no disrespect intended.
Federer, for one, says he’s not worried about Andy Murray. When asked this week if the Scot was his biggest “threat” in New York, Roger answered: “No.”
Both Andy Murray and Roger Federer advanced to the third round in Cincinnati on Wednesday, moving closer to a semifinal showdown.
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