Roger Federer is all set to script another first in the history of ATP rankings. The Swiss sensation is a mere 155 points from becoming the eldest player to reach the No. 1 position in ATP Ranking. Federer after defending his Australian Open title at Melbourne Park last month is poised to return to the top of the ATP rankings for the first time in more than five years.
Federer had last held the top spot on 4 October 2012. Thereafter, he has climbed to the number two position every year but could never had a shot at the top position in ATP rankings, while injuries had pulled him down to as low as to the 16th and 17th position respectively in the past two calendar years. The Australian Open title triumph has placed a mere 155 points shy of top-ranked Rafael Nadal.
Nadal on March will drop the 300 points he earned for playing the Acapulco final last year. Since Federer had crashed out of the Dubai tournament only in the second round, he has got precious little 45 points to lose. This bridges the gap between the top two and serves Federer with a change to be in the number one position in the ATP rankings for the fourth time – extend his reign at the top beyond his world record 302 weeks. Pete Sampras comes closest with 286 weeks at the top in his entire career.
Federer has confirmed his participation in the ATP event at Rotterdam next week. The two-time champion just needs to reach the semi-finals for 180 ranking points, good enough to position him atop the table for the fourth time in his career. This will be the first tournament for the 36-year-old after his Melbourne Park title triumph last week.
Fluctuating fortunes have also led to a major dip in his commercial profile and revenues – the injury-marred 2016 being the worst year ever for Federer.
However, the joy of returning to the top this time around may be short-lived. In March, Federer has 2,000 points to defend after last year’s back-to-back ATP World Tour Masters in Indian Wells and Miami. Nadal in that same period has a mere 690 points to defend. A huge gap of 1,310 points for Federer to bridge.