With the withdrawal of Novak Djokovic from the 2011 Monte-Carlo Masters, an opportunity for Federer to resume the world number two ranking has opened.
Roger Federer, currently ranked third in the world, is the number two seed at the 2011 Monte-Carlos Rolex Masters as Novak Djokovic's withdrawal (knee) has given Federer a seeding that would imply an appearance in the tournament's final.
With Djokovic missing the Monte-Carlo tournament Federer now has a much more realistic chance to regain the world number two ranking.
That is partly due to the fact that Federer skipped the Monte Carlo draw last season and as a result he has no ranking points to defend this season. What that means is that any ranking points that Federer earns at the 2011 Monte-Carlo event will be a pure net gain with 1000 ranking points going to the tournament champion.
Novak Djokovic, on the other hand, made the semifinals last season in Monte Carlo. As a result of that he has 360 ranking points to defend with this season's tournament but his withdrawal guarantees that he will turn a net loss of -360 ranking points with the April 18th ranking update later this month.
Currently Djokovic has 9,700 ranking points and with the 360 ranking points he will lose on April 18th he will then have 9,340 ranking points. Federer's current ranking points total is 8,550 and if he wins Monte-Carlo outright he will then have 9,550 ranking points, a total that would be good enough for second place on tour.
However should Federer finish in second place in Monte-Carlo that would not be good enough for Federer to jump over Djokovic as the runner-up is awarded only 600 ranking points and that amount, summed up with Federer's current amount, would leave the Swiss Maestro behind Djokovic.
Rafael Nadal is the main protector of Djokovic's ranking as the world number one promises to clean up on the clay courts just as he did last season.
However besides Nadal, Federer may be in for a battle in a prospective quarterfinal match against 9-time clay court titlist Nicolas Almagro, a player who is definitely capable of giving Federer a run for his money in Monte Carlo.
Final prediction: Rafael Nadal vs Nicolas Almagro.