November 30th, 2010
05:25 PM ET

Will Roger Federer rule in 2011?

Roger Federer won the season-ending ATP Tour World Finals at London's O2 Arena on Sunday.
Roger Federer won the season-ending ATP Tour World Finals at London's O2 Arena on Sunday.

After Wimbledon, several well-known commentators speculated that Roger Federer would never regain the number one ranking. At the time I thought it was way too early for such speculation and found such talk quite irritating. What must have Federer thought?

Arguably the classiest man in tennis - he’s given so much back to the game - treated like an also-ran after a relatively poor summer season (relative because most players would die for the results he had!)
How quick we are to write athletes off.

From his performance at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, I believe Federer could well take the 2011 season by storm. In a tournament which included the top 8 players in the world, the Swiss lost just one set throughout. That was in the final against Nadal, which in the end he won convincingly.

Agreed, the indoor surface suited Federer much more than the Mallorcan, but still, we know all about Nadal’s ability to win anywhere, anytime, don’t we?

The Spaniard was easily the man of 2010. He was superb in winning the final three majors, and I think he is also a fabulous ambassador for tennis. His rivalry with Federer is, in my mind, the best of all time and off the court, the two have enormous respect for each other and are quite friendly, unusual for two top athletes in the same sport (think Borg and McEnroe, Tiger and Phil).

It will be interesting to see if Nadal can keep up his stellar play next year. For me, he will have to in order to prevent Federer domination.

I asked a close acquaintance of Federer’s at the US Open shortly after his semi-final defeat to Djokovic, why the Swiss was staying back so much. He told me that Roger wanted to show he could beat the best from the baseline.

It strikes me that no-one can beat Nadal from the back - at least not very often - and under new coach Paul Annacone, Federer seems to have realized that he may well as use all the talents he’s been given. It’s for this reason that I think the 16-time major winner will retake the number one ranking from Nadal next year.

His career goal is 20 majors. I wouldn’t be too surprised if, by this time next year, he’s nearing the mark, if not there!

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Filed under:  Tennis
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Sarah Preston

    You're right Candy, I wouldn't be surprised if Federer came back to win – if for no other reason than to prove those nay-sayers wrong...

    Wouldn't it be fabulous if you could interview him on court, like you have done in the past with other players, find out what's really going on with him? They were such wonderful interviews; you are such a pleasure to watch on screen, your knowledge is second to none and the ingenious idea of interviewing them while playing gave us more of an insight into the players because their guard was down... (and you play a pretty mean game to boot!)

    More of that please!

    November 30, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  2. sunny

    Federer in my opinion wanted to prove to himself,not us, that he could beat the best before the year 2010 ran out. That he did in london in style. Now he can prepare for 2011
    I was a top athlete in a team sport and i know how difficult it is to cope at the top with kids,and he got two at once!
    People are quick out of envy and jealousy,sometimes to quickly write off people like federer. I WAS BLESSED TO SEE HIM PLAY AGAINST MONFILS A FEW WEEKS AGO iIN PARIS, it was beauty in motion and how hard he worked. HE lost but i felt he was holding back a bit at times,now i know why,all he thought about was the masters in london.
    He is no longer 20,so i believe he has to now play aggressive and shorten the rallies like he did in london and not loose energy by playing from the baseline often.
    Few players can do this, he can because he is probably the best volleyer in the tennis world. OH excuse me, he is the best at every department in tennis in the world,outside the physical part which age takes from you.
    Nadal fans could learn a lot from nada,love nadal but respect Federer like nadal does because inside,Nadal knows federer is better!!

    November 30, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  3. Don Heath

    I agree completely. Ms. Reid's insights are very much appreciated.

    December 1, 2010 at 2:22 am | Reply
  4. Don Heath

    Federer is a rare talent and should be in a good position to re-establish his dominance in 2011. Candy Reid's comments are always welcome. I enjoy seeing her on the air and hearing her reports. I would also appreciate more coverage of Major League Baseball on World Sport.

    December 1, 2010 at 2:28 am | Reply
  5. Jo(RSA)

    I agree and really enjoy Ms. Reid’s insights!
    Go Roger Federer!!!
    I would appreciate some coverage on world field hockey events but I really do enjoy the show in general!

    December 1, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  6. alehandro

    Really! Do we want Federer to dominate again? He's 29. Wouldn't it be better for the sport if a younger contender emerged to challenge Nadal? The Federer/Nadal rivalry has been good for tennis, but it can't go on forever. I've loved watching Roger over the years but would not be heartbroken if his time is up. He won the World Tour Final, but against a pretty tired looking field. Remember, he took more time off than most this season just to rest and recuperate, so he was by far the fresher player. If he's a major contender next year, good luck to him, but if not, it won't be all bad for tennis....Just one other note, Candy alluded to McEnroe and Borg not being friends, when, according to McEnroe's biography, they often used to hang-out together in the clubs.

    December 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  7. erica reid

    Must comment as I am a great fan of Roger Federer!
    I love Nadal as he is a brilliant player but until Roger retires I always want him to win. Always difficult when he is playing Andy..

    December 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  8. Nandie

    I really admire both Federer and Nadal as players but when they play each other Federer is still my favorite. He is just in a class of his own on and off the court.

    I think that Federer is being judged prematurely. He still has a lot to offer and will be back in full force next year! Considering that he also became a dad to twins and still had a decent year makes him #1 in my books.

    Go "the Fed"

    December 1, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  9. gloria

    Nadal is such a gifted player and a very humble, gentle young guy. Time is up for Federer and let others take the lead. The monotony of Roger/Nadal thing is simply becoming boring.

    December 1, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  10. Jean-marc

    I am a Federer fan but I would like to see him beat Nadal more often before I start speculating on what kind of year he might have next year. If there is anything that was emphatically demonstrated in 2010, it is that Nadal is now the top dog in Tennis. That hasn't changed simply because he lost to Federer in London. On their day, any of the Top 4 players on the tour can beat anybody.

    December 2, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  11. tony montana

    Let's just face it.
    The show must go on, but it'll never be the same without Federer and Rafa, who are unquestionably the most accomplished and exciting guys to watch today still

    December 3, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  12. erica reid

    At least they will both play in the seniors one day.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  13. Sachiko

    Hi, Candy! I always enjoy you hosting world sport, but can't agree your opinion.(maybe because I'm a Nadal fan LOL omg there seems no Nadal fan in comment section!)

    It's too early to say now of Federer regaining number one next year. First of all, 5 set match costs so physically that stamina affects more than that in 3 set match. Second, surely Rafa has improved a lot on hard court, now he is the reigning US open champ, but it's still tricky surface for him, especially in indoor. So beating Nadal in London isn't necessarily applicable to whole season. Third, either of the two was beaten by other players before they face off at final in every Slam this year.Top players, especially Murray and Djokovic, are always dangerous, You can't count out these guys.

    I think if Federer can defend Aussie open next month, it might boost his chance to regain number one thanks to less points to defend in rest Slams than those he had had usually in past seasons.

    December 4, 2010 at 7:57 am | Reply
  14. Yvonne Brown

    I am a huge fan of Roger Federer and always have been. Apart from his genius tennis, he is a gentleman in every sense of the word, both on and off the court. He and Rafa Nadal have given us such enjoyable and exciting matches when playing each other and, whilst Rafa remains supreme this year, I feel that with Roger there is more to come. He has a steely determination and with his enormous talent for the game, I am sure that in 2011 he will emerge the victor. He looks after himself and generally remains injury free. How will Rafa's knees hold up – there is a weakness there and this may overcome his ability to produce his lightening tennis in time to come.
    I feel that 2011 will be a very interesting and informative year and I look forward to some exciting tennis.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:30 am | Reply
  15. Shaida

    Yes I agree with Candy that he is the classiest man in tennis and a fantastic role model, and I hope he is successful in 2011. With both Nadal and Federer playing, I think we are so lucky to be able to see these two great sportsmen together.

    December 4, 2010 at 11:28 am | Reply
  16. Joanna

    As usual due to her in depth knowledge of the game Candy's analysis
    that Federer will go on to triumph this year must surely come true. My favourite player as well, such a gentleman.
    Tennis maybe her first love but her knowledge of all the sports make her a first class presenter.An asset the CNN World Sport.

    December 4, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  17. erica reid

    Go Fed

    December 5, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  18. Alex

    Federer's class and now he has finally taken on a coach and has regained the desire to win, then it's going to take a lot to stop him. Nadal is brilliant and relentless but doesn't possess the magic of Federer at his best.
    Let's hope you're right Candy – as there is nothing like watching the 'Fed' in full flow

    December 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  19. Sandra

    I think he is still good enough to rule, but I think he is more "beatable" now, several of the top guys can give him a good run for his money. So as Candy says, it will depend on how the other top guys perform as to whether Roger will dominate. Any match involving Roger and/or Nadal is exciting to watch, they are both such amazing players. Good luck to them both for 2011, I hope they can share the honours!

    December 6, 2010 at 2:35 am | Reply
  20. Eva (Barcelona)

    Great article. "Visca" and Go Nadal!

    December 6, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  21. Erik Fadli

    I too share Reid's thought on the Rog comeback year. While everyone seems to celebrate Rafa's games I think Rog will still have some to show in the couple of years to come including majors and world number 1..

    December 8, 2010 at 6:02 am | Reply
  22. Wanrahbok Nongneng.

    Guys like Nadal, Djokovic,Murray...had already beat FedX..I doubt Roger will still rule the court in the next its the time for these young guys to rule the court... Sorry Roger!

    December 9, 2010 at 6:20 am | Reply
  23. tettylds

    Rafa is still improving.... Roger is the best in achievement but Rafa is the best at the moment.... Rafa at his best against Roger at his best I do believe Rafa will win....

    December 9, 2010 at 6:52 am | Reply
  24. Margaret Rayner

    I agree with Candy Reid, Federer has a chance of being No. 1 again especially if Nadal's knees don't hold up.
    I personally don't think Murray has a chance unless he gets his head in gear!!!
    I do love Candy's interviews with Federer, Graff and would like to have more.

    December 9, 2010 at 8:22 am | Reply
  25. sabelo(RSA)

    i agree roger will have a better season, but it is hard to think rafa will drop his game that much. this will be the best season for the rivalry with rafa just keeping no.1

    December 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  26. thabang

    Roger is the best guys he plays ayooba tennis so he will rule 2011

    December 19, 2010 at 9:02 am | Reply
  27. Miranda

    Federer will be again no1, he is complete player, i love him.


    June 11, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply

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