So much has changed in one year. The dominance on the ATP World Tour has shifted away from Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray straight into the hands of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Some would even joke that tennis has reverted “back to 2007” based on the ‘Fedal’ domination.
In the first five months of the season, Federer has won one Major (Australian Open) and the “Sunshine Double” (Indian Wells and Miami). Federer is unbeaten in finals and is 19-1 on the year.
Nadal has an outstanding 35-5 record to begin the year. He’s won two Masters 1000 titles (Monte Carlo and Madrid), an unprecedented tenth title in Barcelona, and appeared in the finals of the Australian Open and Miami.
Meanwhile, world no. 1 Andy Murray holds one title to begin the season – Dubai, an ATP 500 event (February). Novak Djokovic has fallen to the world no. 2 position and only holds one title to date – Doha, an ATP 250 event (January).
Not only has the dominance shifted on tour but the history books are about to be rewritten, as well.
After winning his 10th Monte Carlo title, 10th title in Barcelona and fifth Madrid Open title, Nadal is reminding everyone why he is “The King of Clay”. Based on his season results, that nickname may soon expand beyond clay.
After winning the Mutua Madrid Open, Nadal and Djokovic are tied with 30 Masters 1000 titles each.
While Nadal searches for his seventh trophy at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, more history awaits the Spaniard. This is what is on the line for Nadal in the upcoming month:
In May 2016 Novak Djokovic was the ATP no. 1 and seemingly unplayable at times. He held all four Majors at once after winning Roland Garros and at Rogers Cup in July Djokovic won his 30th Masters 1000 title.
In May 2017, the Serbian superstar has struggled to maintain the results of his previous seasons. Djokovic has dropped to the no. 2 ranking spot and has not won a title in four months – something that seemed unthinkable one year ago.
After the semifinal clash with Nadal in Madrid, Djokovic’s seven-match win streak against the Spaniard ended in a heavy straight sets defeat. In the upcoming weeks, Djokovic has finalist points to defend in Rome as well as his Roland Garros title, meaning his ranking could take a hard hit if he does not perform well.
The Internazionali BNL d’Italia takes place this week in Rome. Djokovic and Nadal could meet in another semifinal but with much more on the line this time.
Coupe Rogers in Montreal is the next ATP Masters 1000 stop after Rome. Don’t forget to get your tickets and witness history this August at STADE IGA.
Feature photo: Christopher Levy.