As it stands right now, the biggest threat to Novak Djokovic's No. 1 ranking is none other than David Ferrer. Yet even that seems impossible since Ferrer is almost 1000 points behind Djokovic in the Race Rankings. His best chance to pass Djokovic will be at Shanghai, which means he has three and a half months to close a 4,610-point gap between himself and the world No. 1. In that time, the Spaniard has to defend 1340 points, while Djokovic has to defend 5290. That means that Ferrer only has to be better than Djokovic by 661 points over the next 15 weeks and he will be the highest ranked tennis player in the world.
Still that is a huge task for Ferrer, who at 31 years old, now has his best shot at claiming the No. 1 ranking. Ferrer had many struggles in his first week at Wimbledon as he reached Middle Sunday by the skin of his teeth. Yet now that he is here, Wimbledon presents a huge opportunity. Being better than Djokovic by 660 points will be extremely difficult for Ferrer, but if he takes it one step at a time, it is possible. If we learned anything from the first week of Wimbledon, it is to not overlook anybody.
The first step for Ferrer will be a big one, and it is to reach the final at Wimbledon. It seems very unlikely, but if Ferrer can do it, he will have done 480 points better than Djokovic in just the first week of this 15-week stretch.
The three tournaments that are very important for Ferrer after that are Montreal, Cincinnati, and Shanghai. Ferrer struggled at all three of these tournaments last year. He lost in the first round at Cincinnati and didn't even show up in Canada or Shanghai. He has to accumulate at least 1000 points total at these three tournaments. Last year, Djokovic won two of the tournaments and reached the final in the other. If Djokovic does that again, Ferrer will be in trouble, but Paris, Madrid, and Rome showed us that Djokovic is vulnerable in he early rounds.
The other big step for Ferrer will be at the US Open. What draw he gets there will be crucial in determining how he does. Potentially, Ferrer could be the No. 2 seed at the US Open, which would guarantee him being on the opposite side of Djokovic. Besides that, he will want to see Nadal, Del Potro, and Almagro in his section with Federer, Tsonga, and Murray on the other half. If he can get this dream draw, he has a very good chance of reaching the final at the fourth slam of the year.
There are a lot of "if's" involved in Ferrer's chances to surpass Djokovic in the ATP Emirates Rankings, but there is no doubting that this is the best chance Ferrer will have in his career. I don't believe that Ferrer will be able to become the world No. 1 in his career. However, as a Djokovic fan, Ferrer is the one who makes me the most nervous in the immediate future. Any chance Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray have to be the world No. 1 are not realistically possible until late in October.