He had to play Paris, didn’t he? If he didn’t then there would have been no chance of getting to #1. Roger have played a lot of late and the fact that Paris was right after Basel with no break meant Roger could get tired. I’m not saying he was tired against Raonic or trying to make any excuses, but maybe he was not as sharp as he could have been had he been fully rested. I mean losing in straight sets to a guy who he hadn’t dropped a set against in the last three matches has to tell you something. Yes Raonic played an amazing match and served up a storm but even then Roger probably has too much game for him. When Raonic plays like this there is very little margin for error and it all comes down to a couple of points basically. Like for instance in the tie break where Roger broke the Raonic serve on the opening point and then loses both his own serves.
That won’t get it done. Not that Roger played badly. He played well but by recent standards he just seemed to lack a spark, which I put down to all the tennis he has played of late. He was slightly unlucky to run into Raonic playing this well too. But all credit to Raonic who had to win to have a chance of qualifying for London. His serve was simply unplayable. There isn’t much you can do when he serves like this. Even Roger who matches up very well against big servers couldn’t get the job done. In the second set at 5-4 Roger had a set point but Raonic just dropped another bomb that Roger could not lay a racquet on. And then at 5-5 Roger got broken after a very clutch pass from Raonic. So really in the end there wasn’t much he could do, nor does he need to regret much. It is only his fans who are never satisfied who will regret this loss. The loss of course meant that the #1 ranking was now out of Roger’s control.
To remain 490 points behind Djokovic Djokovic had to lose against Murray which did not happen, as he defeated Murray easily 7-5, 6-2. I thought Murray would do much better but we know he is not mentally the strongest player around. Now it comes down to Nishikori to save Roger’s #1 hopes as Djokovic is now 670 points ahead of Roger. If Djokovic loses to Nishikori and Roger is the undefeated winner in London, beating a previously unbeaten Djokovic in the final, he will be 170 points behind Djokovic going into the Davis Cup final. Then he’d need to win both singles matches and Switzerland must win the Davis Cup, which would give him 225 points and the #1 ranking. But it looks unlikely now. I wouldn’t look any further than the Nishikori/Djokovic match right now, because if Djokovic wins that Roger can forget about the #1 ranking. Nishikori defeated Ferrer 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 after being down 0-4 and 2-5 in the tie break.
Clearly Nishikori is much more dependable than the mentally unstable Scotsman but there is obviously no guarantee that he will win. I wouldn’t be surprised if he does though, and it would certainly make things a lot more interesting for London. Roger said himself after his loss that he always thought the #1 ranking would be decided in London. That is yet to be seen though. Was it an attempt to put pressure on Djokovic? The #1 ranking will pretty much be decided in Paris if Djokovic makes the final or wins the title. By making the final he would already be 910 points ahead of Roger going into London. And if he makes the final you expect him to win the title. But even if he does not then undefeated finalist in London would be enough to get the job done. And if Djokovic wins Paris then he only needs a couple of wins in London. And that is all assuming Roger gets maximum points for London and Davis Cup.
So definitely things have become a lot more complicated with the year end #1 now and I would say Djokovic would have to lose to Nishikori for Roger to have a realistic chance of getting #1. But like I said before Roger already won five titles this year and the rest is gravy. No doubt it would have been nice if Roger got the #1 ranking after what happened at Wimbledon, but it is now up to Djokovic. I would still like Roger to win London if he can not get the year end #1. He has a couple of days extra rest now which he admitted himself is big and it means he will go more refreshed to London. If he can win the title there he will still have a shot of getting #1 early next year, even if he doesn’t get it by year end. But he’d have to win the Australian Open probably. Will this be the year of near misses for Roger? It is possible but I don’t have as negative an outlook as many Fedfans. I still think it’s been a great year regardless of what happens from here on.
That said, I definitely won’t mind him winning the title in London!
Ps. Feel free to correct me if I made any mistakes with the rankings. I just did the calculations quickly off the top of my head.