Rafael Nadal’s return to World No. 1 will be ‘extraordinary’
16-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal will return to the top of the men’s rankings next week if current World No. 1 Roger Federer fails to make it to the semis at the ongoing Indian Wells Masters.
Nadal, who lost his No. 1 ranking to Federer last month, when the Swiss maestro won the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, is missing the tournament in the Californian desert due to a hip injury and will not be taking part in the upcoming Miami Masters as well.
On the other hand, after a sluggish start in the opening round of the event in Coachella Valley, Federer showed regained his touch in his second match, dispatching Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-1 in just 58 minutes to swiftly move into the fourth round on Monday.
With his latest victory, Federer extended his undefeated run to 14 matches in 2018 after defending his Australian Open title in Melbourne and then capturing his 97th career title in the Netherlands.
But Federer will lose the World No. 1 rankings if he is unable to get to the semifinals in Indian Wells and his arch-rival Nadal will supplant from the pinnacle of the men’s rankings.
Federer was asked to share his views about the aforementioned scenario at the start of the tournament and he had said that the No.1 ranking wasn’t his priority. However, when tennis pundit Annabel Croft was asked about the same, she had this to say: “Well I think he talked about that at the start of this event.
“He said at the moment he feels as if he’s in a bit of a bubble and he doesn’t want to think too much about it.
“He certainly doesn’t want to give away the secret to what’s been working for him but also not to put too much pressure on himself to have high expectations because last year was exceptional.
“But an interesting point is whether he’s going to retain that world No. 1 by the end of the tournament.
“Obviously he has to get to the semis here to do that otherwise it’s an extraordinary scenario with Rafael Nadal taking over having not played here or next week as well.”