Carlos Alcaraz becomes youngest year-end No. 1 in men’s tennis as Rafael Nadal’s slump continues at ATP Finals
NEW YORK — Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were the two highest-ranked men in the world when the first half of 2017 began. They have been on top for most of the second half and there is no foreseeable end date for the former top-ranked player in the ATP Tour.
Yet for almost three years of this year, that role would have been Federer, a player who the sport had come to love in the era of Andy Murray, who was the No. 1 player not just in the world but in the history of tennis.
On Sunday, however, Federer finds himself in a position he’s endured for three years — No. 1 in men’s tennis year-end rankings for the first time since Nov. 6, 2013.
Instead, he was just No. 2 for the year.
“It’s a huge, huge, huge relief,” Federer told ESPN when reaching the Top 10. “It’s like a big weight off my shoulders.”
Federer may have the year off to enjoy it.
Federer won seven tournaments in 2017. That was more than he had ever done in his career before. And he has one more in the 2018 season. But this was a year without any major tournaments.
It was the first time Federer’s ranking dipped below No. 10 since his peak season in 2009. Yet Nadal, the world’s No. 1 in 2017 and now No. 2, was out of the Top 5 for almost all of the season. He was ranked No. 5 from May 2 through June 28 and No. 8 from June 29 through July 18. He was No. 6 from July 19 through Aug. 31, and he was No. 1 for the last three tournaments of the year — Wimbledon, Cincinnati and New York City.
Rafael Nadal’s first Top 10 ranking.
The ranking system
The year-end top 10 for men in the ATP Rankings is determined by adding together the rankings of the top 10 players in the world, from No. 1 to No. 10