It’s a stretch to say that Andy Murray took the No. 2 ranking away from Roger Federer when he won the Miami Masters on Sunday. It’s more like Federer left the No. 2 ranking on the dashboard of his car and walked away—with the windows down and the engine running. Somebody was bound to come along.
No disrespect to Murray here; he’s a deserving number two and he may well have wrenched that ranking directly from Federer’s hand, given the chance. But Federer didn’t even show up in Miami. Thus, he gave up the paltry 45 points he earned there last year (he was upset in the third round by Andy Roddick) instead of beefing up his resistance to the Murray surge by replacing those points with a better haul.
Clearly, Roger isn’t sweating the rankings. He’s earned the right, officially and sentimentally, to play as often or as little as he likes. His decisions in that regard will have an impact on his ranking, though. It leaves us wondering how much longer we can count on Federer being around.