Nadal, Federer perch above all others
The Davis Cup final in France marked the end of the 2017 season for the ATP Tour for men’s tennis players. The final end-of-year rankings place the two older generation friends “uber alles”: far above all others. The younger challengers, however, proved their mettle as Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria won the end of season tournament in London.
The year belongs to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. In January, the two mates expressed surprise that they were able to enter the 2017 Australian Open because they were plagued by injury less than two months earlier. Nevertheless, they played their way to an epic final that could have gone either way. They both won two Grandslam titles, for which each player amassed 4,000 ranking points. That made the difference between them and other players. Their title victories in other tournaments added to the unassailable season total of 10,645 points for Rafael Nadal and 9, 605 for Federer.
The players of the next generation are led in the rankings by the winner of the ATP finals in London, Grigor Dimitrov, whose third position’s 5,150 points are half the score of Nadal. However, his age-group players follow one another in quick succession with Germany’s Alexander Zverev (4,610) and Austria’s Dominic Thiem with 4,015 points.
The 31-year old Spanish icon played 18 tournaments and won six titles consisting 67 match victories to 11 losses. He was the winner of two Grand Slams (New York and his tenth in Paris). He won 1000-point events in Madrid and Monte-Carlo and the 500-point events in Beijing and Barcelona.
The 36-year old Federer played 17 tournaments and won seven titles, with a record of 52 wins to five losses. In addition to Australian Open and Wimbledon, he won the 1000-point events in Shanghai, Miami and Indian Wells. He won the 500-point events in Basel Switzerland and Halle Germany.
The 26-year old Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov was buoyed by his victory in London to the third position. In the year, he played in 23 tournaments and won four titles, including Sofia, Brisbane and the 1000-point Cincinnati Open. Prior to this season, his best performance had been in 2014 when he won in Queens London, Bucharest and Acapulco. He won his first title at Stockholm in 2013.
In the next generation, the solid game of Germany’s 20-year old Alexander Zverev achieved a good record for the year. He is closely followed by his same-language player from Austria, 24-year old Dominic Thiem. Belgium’s 21-year old David Goffin recuperated from injury on the clay-court of Paris to end the year with spectacular performance, including victories over Rafael Nadal (in the round-robin) and Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the ATP Finals in London. Another member of the contending age-group, 22-year-old Nick Kyrgios of Australia played 19 tournaments and ended with 2010 points for the 21st position.
Erstwhile number one player, Novak Djokovic played 16 tournaments but was sidelined by wrist injury and placed 30th, while Andy Murray ends the season with 2290 points for the 30th slot. The players are ever concerned about the possibility of injury because of the long season during which they compete in every continent; especially after China entered the limelight with the men’s event and the end-of-season tournament for the women on the WTA Tour.
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