Déjà Vu: With Djokovic, Wawrinka Out, Nadal, Federer Challenge Murray For No. 1
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 05:49PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Tennis, Tennis, US Open

By Barry Janoff

August 8, 2017: With Stan Wawrinka, the No. 4 ranked men’s tennis player in the world, adding himself to the list of players not competing in the upcoming U.S. Open, Novak Djokovic already out and No. 1 Andy Murray battling a hip injury, the question is: Who might be No. 1 after the U.S. Open Series and U.S. Open Grand Slam tournament?.

Wawrinka, the 2016 U.S. Open champion, said that knee surgery and rehabilitation would force him to miss the rest of the 2017 season.

In July, No. 5-ranked Djokovic, who lost to Wawrinka in the ’16 U.S. Open finals, said he would miss the remainder of 2017 due to an elbow injury, which also includes the ATP Finals in London.

Murray has been having health issues and withdrew from the Rogers Cup in Montreal, part of the U.S. Open Series, (Aug. 4-13) to take time to rehabilitate a hip injury. He gave no timetable for his return.

As Yogi Berra said, it’s déjà vu all over again as that could open the door for No. 2 Rafael Nadal or No. 3 Roger Federer to move back as the WTA ranked No. 1, a spot they both have enjoyed in the past.

Nadal is less than 300 points behind Murray in the most recent ATP rankings, with Wimbledon winner Federer about 1,300 points back. Federer has won five U.S. Open titles, Nadal two.

Federer was last ranked No. 1 on Nov. 4, 2012, and holds the record for most consecutive weeks at No. 1 (237) as well as most total weeks at No. 1 (302).

Nadal was last ranked No. 1 on July 6, 2014, losing the spot after 30 consecutive weeks.

Murray has been No. 1 since Nov. 7, 2016.

One the women’s side, Karolina Pliskova is ranked No. 1 by the WTA, followed by Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber and Wimbledon winner Garbiñe Muguruza.

Serena Williams will not be at the U.S. Open awaiting the birth of her first child, with the due date expected while the U.S. Open is in progress (Aug. 28-Sept. 10).

"I am sad to announce that after talking with my team and doctor I had to make a difficult decision to undergo a medical intervention on my knee," Wawrinka posted to his Facebook page. "This was the only solution to make sure I will be able to compete at the top level for many more years.

"This is obviously extremely disappointing, but I’m already looking ahead and planning my recovery,” said Wawrinka. I love this sport and I will work hard to get back to my top level and play many more years . . . I will see you all in 2018,” wrote Wawrinka.

Murray offered on the Rogers Cup official Web site, "I am sad to be missing the tournament in Montreal because I have many great memories from my time in Canada. I am doing everything I can to return as quickly as possible."

Unranked Maria Sharapova, working on a comeback following a 15-month suspension due to use of a banned drug, also opted out of the Rogers Open.

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