No matter what happens in Sunday's Wimbledon final, Novak Djokovic will take away Rafael Nadal's No. 1 ranking. The 24-year-old Serb earned enough rankings points to end Nadal's reign by virtue of his semifinal win. Losing Sunday's final to Nadal wouldn't change that.
Djokovic could get triple-bageled by Rafa while, at the same time, Deliciano Lopez hits on his girlfriend and still be No. 1. He could withdraw from the match and still the top player in the world. Heck, he could play in the women's final and get beat by Maria Sharapova. Doesn't matter. Rafa's out, Novak's in.
He becomes the 25th man to ever hold that position, joining legends like John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and the two men who have had a stranglehold on the ranking since 2004, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. With one Grand Slam victory, two Grand Slam finals appearances and one semifinal, plus seven tournament victories this year and a 47-1 record, Djokovic is a worthy No. 1, not a paper champion like his WTA counterpart, Caroline Wozniacki.
With a victory at Wimbledon, Djokovic will be the undisputed king of men's tennis. Let's say he loses though. Then what? If Nadal defeats Djokovic on Sunday afternoon that would give him his second Grand Slam of the year, third Grand Slam in the past 52 weeks and his fifth title in the past six majors. How could a man with that resume move behind the guy whom he just beat in the Wimbledon final?
That's a question for another day, though. Know this, though: Wozniacki gets slammed every week for being an unworthy No. 1. Yet if Nadal defeats Djokovic on Sunday, the Serb's placement atop the men's rankings, ahead of a man with five of the past six Grand Slams, would be a far more egregious blunder.