As if to add to the abject disappointment of surrendering his French Open crown at the quarter-final stage, Rafa Nadal fans may want to avoid looking too closely at the latest men's Tennis rankings. They have the powerhouse Spaniard down in an almost unheard of tenth place. It is a sad reflection of his gradual fall from grace among the very best players in the game. By contrast, the resurgent Stan Wawrinka has 'utilised' his astounding victory in Paris to propel himself back up to 4th place.

Solid top three

The top three positions remain unchanged, with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray more or less living up their 'billing' as numbers one and three in France.

Roger Federer is still second and officially the Swiss number one. Yet Wawrinka's straight sets success over his more illustrious countryman at the quarter-final stage in Roland Garros will make some wonder about the accuracy of that assertion. He was the biggest 'gainer' among the top ten players in the new rankings list, rocketing up 5 places.

Tsonga's semi-final helped

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga benefited from his tremendous French Open campaign, improving his position from 15th to 12th after reaching the last-four. The biggest loser in the top 100 rankings was Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, who slipped a remarkable 58 places back to number 87.

The top five on the ATP world tour as at 8th June, 2015 are confirmed as (with comparison to Nadal):


Novak Djokovic 13,845 points

2. Roger Federer 9,415

3. Andy Murray 7,040

4. Stan Wawrinka 5,835

5. Kei Nishikori 5,570

10. Rafa Nadal 2,930

Slide for Nadal

Nadal is still only 29-years-old, not especially old when you compare him to Federer, and may yet come again. His air of invincibility on his beloved clay has been severely tested recently though.

Not only was he no longer certain of triumph at the French, the home from home for the Spaniard for the last ten years, but he has faltered elsewhere as well.

Murray dismantled him in Madrid to match Djokovic's dominance at Roland Garros in their last-eight tussle. Before that he had lost to the Italian Fabio Fognini twice in Brazil and Barcelona and also found Djokovic too strong in the semis at Monte Carlo.

The Spaniard has fourteen Grand Slam titles to call upon, but his lowest ranking for over ten years will mean that avoiding the so called 'big guns' in the early rounds will most likely no longer be possible. Either he finds a solution in much the same manner as Murray did last season, by winning more matches on the circuit, or he risks falling even further.

Murray's solution

Last season Murray entered several tournaments that he would normally have avoided, risking fatigue and injury along the way due to his increased workload. He achieved his primary aim of improving his ranking though and seems to have stabilised his form afterwards in 2015.

Whether Nadal has the mental strength and equally importantly, the physical durability to do likewise only time will tell.

He should have less ranking points to lose now that the clay court season 'morphs' seamlessly into the grass court season.

A strong Wimbledon seems paramount to his chances of a speedy recovery, with the enhanced ranking points on offer. However, the usual suspects of Djokovic, Federer, Murray and now Wawrinka will have other ideas.