Federer past his best but better than the rest in ATP Rankings

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Roger Federer’s time at the top table of men’s tennis may be drawing to a close but the 32-year-old remains nailed-on to stay within the top eight of the ATP Rankings given his form and that of his nearest challengers.

The seven-time Wimbledon champion can be backed at evens to fall out of the top eight in 2014 but, though shorter,  odds of 8/11 on the Swiss star remaining under the 7.5 mark in the rankings come the end of the year look a more favourable tip.

Federer may have been off the pace set by Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray at recent grand slam events, but his record at major tournaments and comparative superiority over much of the chasing pack should stand him in good stead.

Last season was arguably his worst year in the sport, and yet despite that Federer still managed a semi-final appearance at the Australian Open and a quarter-final berth at Roland Garros.

To put that in perspective the player that finished behind him in the ATP Rankings, Tomas Berdych, mustered just two grand slam quarter- final appearances last year.

Eighth-ranked Stanislas Wawrinka, meanwhile, matched Federer’s record, reaching the last four at Flushing Meadows and last eight of the French Open in 2013 in what was his best ever season.

Aged 28-years-old each, it would be fair to suggest both players have reached and perhaps gone beyond their peaks in terms of ability, with Berdych’s best season coming back in 2010, and while their Swiss rival may also be in decline he is likely to remain one step ahead of the pair given his experience.

With French duo Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga failing to demonstrate the consistency required to take on the best players in the game, young prospect Milos Raonic looks the most likely threat to Federer’s place in the top seven and even he remains some way off the finished article.

The 32-year-old’s position in the ATP Rankings is also helped by the top four player’s ongoing dominance of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, with 1000 points awarded for each winner.

Of the nine events played last season, Nadal won five, Djokovic three and Murray the remaining one with Federer, Wawrinka and Raonic each recording one final appearance.

With Federer focused on a record tenth straight semi-final appearance at the Australian Open next month, this could be the tennis banker of the year.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.