Roger Federer has not been spotted on the ATP Tour since the U.S. Open final – and don't be too surprised if he takes his extended break all the way into the New Year.
The world No. 1 took time off after his defeat to Juan Martin del Potro at Flushing Meadows to rest up and spend time with his young family, yet was expected to return for the Paris Masters and the year-ending ATP Tour finals in London.
However, rumors out of Switzerland have suggested that Federer is considering keeping a low profile until January in order to be fully fresh and ready for 2010.
It would be a controversial move if Federer decided to skip the Tour finals, and one that would likely bring sanctions from the ATP unless he could prove he was injured. Rafael Nadal, then atop the rankings, pulled out last year.
Federer's year has been outstanding but it is understood he has made regaining the Australian Open crown his first priority for next year.
He was devastated to lose to Nadal in this year's final, with his idol Rod Laver looking on. After losing to Novak Djokovic in the 2008 semifinal, the Swiss feels his preparation for Australia has not been ideal and wants a more structured approach this time around.
Federer remains atop of our power rankings, primarily because most of the leading men have either been out of action or out of form.
Yahoo! Sports Power Rankings
1. (1) Roger Federer - Resting up before the Tour finals
2. (2) Juan Martin del Potro - Targeting a huge 2010
3. (5) Rafael Nadal - Still not back to his pre-injury level
4. (4) Novak Djokovic - Showing solid end-of-year form
5. (3) Andy Murray - Wrist injury is a real concern
6. (NR) Nikolay Davydenko - Superb win in Shanghai
7. (6) Andy Roddick - Ran out of gas at the end of a tough year
8. (NR) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - Strong year from the big Frenchman