In the big picture, there are also plenty of spots for Nole to earn quite a lot of points, if he improves his game and manages his fitness, especially at the very end of the season. Three masters and the Masters Cup, plus possible Wimbledon finals, Olympic medal and USO title.
If Nole can make a few finals/semis on clay he should gain some points. Fed wont be able to make all finals again.
they way i am seeing things guys, the opportunities are nearly endless for Nole to rack up points. first, he only has about 1300 points or so in the next 2 months to worry about and i am just using a rough approximation:
1. i hope he does go to Estotril now and go ahead and defend that title. there is no need to let those 200 points go. it will also be chance to send Fed an early message that he too can play on clay.
2. there is nothing wrong with making the semis of both French Open and Wimby as it allows him to be consistent and not lose any points. if the Clay Monster cant take the Wimby title, why not the Nole. Fed has had 5 in a row already so why not somebody new. Roddick too may his chances there.
3. i believe Nole will do most of his damage after Wimbledon. i think he will take Toronto, and the U.S. Open. depending on how he feels, there will plenty of points to pick up in Cincy since he lost in the 2nd round there last year.
4. he is much more likely to be a factor at the last 3 big events this year as he will learn to pace himself a little:
3. Masters Cup
fundamentally, its up to him. if he wants it bad enough, he needs to take it. both Fed and Nadal will mount their challenge in all this as well so it is really going to be an awesome year.