Can Nadal, Federer Finish 2017 on Top of ATP?

What started out as a nice stroll down memory lane has turned into something much more significant. The resurgence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal was seen by many as simply an interesting start to the 2017 ATP season, but their dominance has lasted well into the year and the superstars of the 2000s are showing no signs of slowing down.

Currently, the pair lead the ATP singles standings, with Federer (4,045 points) sitting first and Nadal (3,735 points) not far behind. Chasing them is Stan Wawrinka (1,590 points) and Dominic Thiem (1,485 points), but they both have a pretty sizable gap to close.

Interestingly, the most dominant players from the last couple years, world no. 1 Andy Murray (1,110 points) and no. 2 Novak Djokovic (655 points), started this season quite poorly and haven’t improved much since. There’s still time to catch up, but the calendar keeps on turning.

Federer started the year with a huge win at the Australian Open, narrowly beating Nadal (6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3) to snatch his first Grand Slam since 2012. He then went on to pick up wins at the Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open. His performances catapulted him to fourth in the world rankings, leapfrogging 12 places since December of last year.

Nadal is in spectacular form at the moment and is once again the sport’s preeminent clay-court player, having just picked up back-to-back wins at the Monte-Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open. He’s also reached the finals in three other 2017 tournaments. He currently sits fifth place in the ATP rankings, four spots higher than last year.

Federer and Nadal are once again the talk of the town, but can their moment last? Here’s a look ahead at their odds for 2017.

O/U on 2017 Grand Slams wins

Roger Federer: 1.5
Rafael Nadal: 0.5

Roger Federer has already picked up the Australian Open, and Rafael Nadal is the favorite for the upcoming French Open. After that, there’s Wimbledon and the US Open, where Federer stands a slightly better chance.

Odds to be the 2017 ATP prize-money leader

Roger Federer: 3/2
Rafael Nadal: 7/3
FIELD: 3/2

Roger Federer has already raked in a whopping $5,159,370 in prize money, more than any other player. But a French Open win would close the margin for Rafael Nadal, who has already made $3,576,014 this year. While Federer doesn’t play a ton of tournaments anymore, opting for quality over quantity, a second Grand Slam could give him an insurmountable lead.

Odds to be the 2017 ATP points leader

Roger Federer: 3/2
Rafael Nadal: 13/7
FIELD: 3/1

Federer (4,045 points) and Nadal (3,735 points) have turned the 2017 points race into a two-horse affair. Wawrinka (1,590 points) sits a distant third, followed by Thiem (1,485 points), David Goffin (1,460 points) and Grigor Dimitrov (1,375 points).

Federer has a decent lead over Nadal, and he stands the better chance of ending the season as the points leader, even playing a pared-down schedule.

Odds Rafael Nadal will win at least one match against Roger Federer in 2017: 3/1

The arch-rivals have already met three times this season, with Federer winning each time. The Australian Open final was a close fight (6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3), while the Indian Wells Masters meeting (6-2, 6-3) and Miami Open final (6-3, 6-4) was a little more one-sided.

If the pair meet at the French Open, then Nadal stands an excellent chance of winning; he has a 13-2 career record against Federer on clay. But if they don’t meet on Nadal’s best surface, the odds are in Federer’s favor.

Odds to end 2017 as World no. 1

Roger Federer: 9/11
Rafael Nadal: 7/3

Andy Murray (11,870 points) and Novak Djokovic (8,085) are still the kings of tennis … for now. They’ve yet to give us any reason to believe in them this year, though, and they’ve already failed to defend a substantial number of their 2016 points. Federer (5,125 points) and Nadal (4,735 points) are surging ahead, and if they keep it up, they’ll end the year on top.

Photo credit: Kitest Jagadish [CC BY 2.0 (]

Eaton Thatcher

Eaton used to write for MTS predominantly about boxing but also about soccer, football, tennis and basketball.

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