Rafael Nadal is still within striking distance of the year end No. 1 ranking (an honor that’s confusingly named the “2009 ATP World Tour Champion”), depending on how both he and Roger Federer perform at the World Tour Finals next week in London. The ATP provides Rafa’s plan of attack for the potential Battle for the Year End No. 1s:
Here are the key scenarios in the battle for the 2009 ATP World Tour Champion title:
1. If Nadal is an undefeated champion at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (winning all-three round-robin matches, a semi-final and final) he will earn the maximum 1,500 points. If that happens, Federer would need to either win all three round-robin matches OR reach the final to beat out Nadal for the 2009 ATP World Tour Champion title.
2. If Nadal goes 2-1 in round-robin play and wins the title he will earn 1,300 points. If that happens, Federer would need to either win two round-robin matches OR win one round-robin match and reach the final to beat out Nadal for the 2009 ATP World Tour Champion title.
3. If Nadal goes 3-0 in round-robin play, wins his semi-final but loses the final he will earn 1,000 points. If that happens, Federer would need only to win one round-robin match to beat out Nadal for the 2009 ATP World Tour Champion title.
Working against Nadal’s chances are the respective Barclays ATP World Tour Finals records of both players. Federer boasts one of the greatest records at the season finale with a 27-5 match record, including four titles from five straight finals between 2003-07. Nadal, however, is yet to play his best tennis at the event. In two appearances in 2006-07 he went 2-1 in round-robin play but fell in the semi-finals.
Question for you rankings nerds out there – aren’t there ATP points given for Davis Cup play, too? Would that have an effect and/or is the Year Ending No. 1 awarded before the Davis Cup final?