Tennis Power Rankings – Week 2

Each week, I will rank the top 15 male singles tennis players as I currently see them and give a sentence or two about him. I will also select two players not currently in the top 50 of the ATP Rankings who have the talent to move up and two players in the top 25 of the ATP Rankings that are dropping and dropping fast.

The first week of official ATP events resulted in a few stunning upsets, as Gael Monfils defeated Rafael Nadal in Doha, Qatar, and Ernests Gulbis knocked reigning Australian Open champion and world number three Novak Djokovic in Brisbane, Australia.

Andy Murray beat Roger Federer, again, dropping the first set in a tie-breaker before controlling the final two sets, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2, on his way to the championship at Qatar. It’s reached the point now that if Federer beats Murray on a hard court, I’d consider that an upset.

Two-time NCAA Champion Somdev Devvarman returned to his birth country and made a stunning run to the finals at Chennai. He’ll meet Marin Cilic in Sunday’s final.

The Brisbane final features Radek Stepanek and Fernando Verdasco. Stepanek upset Robin Soderling and Richard Gasquet in three sets each on the way to his first final since last February. It is the first hard court final on the ATP Tour for Verdasco.

And in the star-filled tournament in Qatar, Andy Murray defeated Andy Roddick in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, for his ninth career ATP Tour title. It was his eighth title in past 23 months.

That said, let’s take a look at’s inaugural tennis power rankings.

Rank (Pv) Player Last Week
1 (-) Andy Murray W Qatar
Even if Murray had lost to Roger in the semifinal, he’d be at #1. Since losing the U.S. Open final last September, Murray has been easily the best hard court player in the world, going 18-0 with three ATP titles and one exhibition tournament.
2 (-) Rafael Nadal QF Qatar
Nadal just does not have the movement to ever be a top player on hardcourts.
3 (-) Roger Federer SF Qatar
Since winning his first slam in 2003, he has never lost the same slam, other than Roland Garros, in consecutive years. That ends in Melbourne.
4 (-) Novak Djokovic 1R Brisbane
His tuneup for a repeat at Melbourne Park came to a quick halt as he lost to the underperforming Ernests Gulbis in straight sets.
5 (-) Nikolay Davydenko 2R Chennai
He withdrew before the second round with a left heel injury and is out of the Aussie as well. Davydenko has only made one final since the middle of May.
6 (-) Gilles Simon 2-1 Hopman Cup
Simon came on strong at the end of 2008, but losing to Bolelli, even in an exhibition, is not a good start. He and Alize Cornet paired for a 1-2 mark in mixed doubles.
7 (-) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga QF Brisbane Tsonga managed a great 2008 despite missing the middle two slams. If he can make the QF of the Aussie, there’s a great chance he’ll spend the rest of the year in the top 10.
8 (-) Andy Roddick F Qatar Roddick had a relatively easy ride to finals and probably saved a spot in the top 10 by beating Gael Monfils.
9 (-) David Nalbandian OFF The Age hit it right on the head when the paper called Nalbandian “the best player of his generation without a major.” Is this his last good chance?
10 (-) Juan Martin Del Potro OFF Del Potro cooled off at the end of the year, but he also had some tough draws. A favorable draw in Melbourne will give him a great chance to jump to sixth in the ATP rankings.
11 (-) Robin Soderling QF Brisbane I never thought that Soderling would be considered a top player, but it’s hard to argue against it after the fall he had.
12 (-) Gael Monfils SF Qatar He knocked Nadal out in Doha, but before we can finally say he’s made it, let’s see him duplicate the form that took him to the SF in Paris.
13 (-) James Blake 2-1 Hopman Cup He’s holding in here for now, but like GM and Chrysler it’s gonna take outside help to keep the stock from collapsing.
14 (-) Marat Safin 2-2 Hopman Cup Safin is as talented as anyone else, but who knows what to expect from him in his final year on tour?
15 (-) Marin Cilic TBA Chennai Don’t be surprised if Cilic is this year’s Tsonga. Don’t be surprised if he bows out first round.
Rise (-) Ernests Gulbis 2R Brisbane I’ve been waiting two years for Gulbis to break through. I was actually planning on putting him here before he beat Djokovic in Brisbane, so that’s just icing on the cake.
Rise (-) Kei Nishikori QF Brisbane He made headlines last year in becoming the first Japanese man in the open era to reach the fourth round at the U.S. Open. He’s the most mentally strong teenager on the circuit.
Fall (-) David Ferrer OFF Did anyone tail off at the end of 2008 as much as Ferrer? He dropped his final nine sets and was non-competitive against Nalbandian in the Davis Cup final.
Fall (-) Mardy Fish 1R Brisbane He played above his ability at the end of the summer, but losing to Jurgen Melzer confirms that his #24 ranking will double by the end of the year.

By bsd987

I have written for since 2004 and was named a featured writer in 2006. I have been Co-Editor of the site since January 1, 2009. I also write for where I am a founding member of the Tennis Roundtable and one of the chief contributors to both the Tennis and Horse Racing sections.

I am "Stat Boy" for's weekly podcast, Poor Man's PTI.

I am currently a Junior at Rice University majoring in History and Medieval Studies. My senior thesis will focus on the desegregation of football in Texas and its affect of racial relations.

Please direct all inquiries to [email protected].

Burton DeWitt
Co-Editor of

2 replies on “Tennis Power Rankings – Week 2”

I honestly think this is the year federer puts it all together. 4 slams, 4 wins. Granted he hasn’t been playing up to his potential but i believe he is one of those players that rise to the occasion. Last year could only add fuel to the fire. Another one i expect to see make a run is David Ferrer. Maybe he wont reach the finals at Aussie but i think he will impress. His intensity level can carry himself a long way.

I can’t see federer dominating anymore the way he used to. Sure, he’ll still win a slam here and there because he’s still great, but the days of him winning the tournament before it even started are gone now so no slam, ever.

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