x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Do not count Roger Federer and Serena Williams out from rising again

The Swiss and the American have work to do before they can reclaim No 1, but at the moment it would be reckless to suggest they cannot get it done.

Roger Federer's victory over Tomas Berdych at the Madrid Open helped catapult him over Rafael Nadal to No 2 behind the top-ranked Novak Djokovic.
Roger Federer's victory over Tomas Berdych at the Madrid Open helped catapult him over Rafael Nadal to No 2 behind the top-ranked Novak Djokovic.

 

Six months ago no one would have dismissed as reckless a declaration that Roger Federer and Serena Williams would never again be No 1 in the world.

Each by then had turned 30. Federer seemed to be losing a rearguard action against Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, slipping to No 3 in the world. Williams was so often injured that her ranking had drifted to No 25 in June of last year.

Look who is upwardly mobile once again.

Federer reclaimed No 2 Monday on the strength of his fourth tournament championship of the season, climbing past Nadal, who was last seen spluttering about blue clay before exiting Madrid in the third round.

Federer has given ground and reclaimed it in the past, and when he regained No 1 in July 2009, he held it for nearly a year.

He has been the best player in the world since the US Open, winning 45 of 48 matches and doing Roger Federer things, like showing up and playing and never losing to lesser players.

Williams, meanwhile, has climbed to No 6 while winning twice this season, and she now apparently feels comfortable on clay, having won 15 consecutive matches on what had been considered her worst surface.

She has regained the No 1 spot no fewer than four times, most recently in 2009.

Federer and Williams have work to do before they can reclaim No 1, but at the moment it would be reckless to suggest they cannot get it done.

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