Originally Posted by NadalAgassi
Valid points but personally I considered Djokovic (along with an active Nadal) the one(s) to beat even when Federer retook #1, similarily how I always considered Serena the one to beat in the last year even though Azarenka was ranked #1. JMO. The bookies obviously did too, as Djokovic was the bookies favorite for the 2012 U.S Open, 2013 Australian Open, 2013 Wimbledon, and Nadal the #2 favorite for the 2012 U.S Open, 2013 Australian Open, and favorite for the 2013 French, even while Federer had retaken #1 (Murray passed Nadal for the bookies #2 favorite for the non French 2013 slams after his U.S Open win, dropping Federer down to #4 for most of the 2013 slams, despite still being ranked #1 at that point). Federer would have had to win a 2nd slam to convince me otherwise (just as Azarenka would have had to beat Serena in the U.S Open final to win her 2nd slam of the year to convince me otherwise amongst the women). Obviously Federer had the ranking for awhile, and others are free to disagree with me on that. I still mantain other than the WTF most top players would rather have to go through Olderer than Nadal to win any major event.
before W, nadal and djokovic would have been clearly ahead of everyone, but that changed during grass season.between the end of wimbledon and the semis of the olympics, i felt federer was playing the best tennis on tour with murray, djokovic, and nadal behind in that order. after the olympics, i thought murray gained an edge over federer, while djokovic and nadal fell further behind.
after the Cinci, i felt Djokovic had done enough to get back into the conversation and murray didnt do enough to stay clearly ahead. perhaps a 3 man race, with nadal, with the prospect of his return, at 4th. post USO, Murray and djokovic were the men to beat, with federer a step behind up until the WTF where federer made small push but failed. Nadal was clearly not in the conversation. at years end, i thought the ones to beat were Djokovic, Murray/ Federer (slight edge murray still), and the rest of the field. Nadal could have been the clear No.4 favorite had he gone into the 2013AO. i dont think nadal was ever above the No.3 favorite at any point after the olympics considering the combination of 3 factors. murray's level rising, dismal prospect of post injury play, and his tendency to relatively not do well during the US hardcourt and asian/european indoor swings.