How can some say rankings don't matter? Isn't that what the ATP is all about? Otherwise what's the point in playing matches and collecting points? I suspect it would be an entirely different story if Federer was still number one, then we'd never hear the end of people crowing and gloating about how many weeks cummalatively he's been number one. That was the talking point not too long ago until it all went pear shaped. But now 'suddenly' rankings don't matter.
Do you think it matters for Roger whether he is ranked #3, #4 or #5? Even Nadal made a comment about it when he was down in the rankings early this year that he didn't really cared where he would be ranked.
It's a normal development with age that you are going to slip in the rankings because your level sinks. Murray says it really well in his comment I think - Roger will be a dangerous player, no matter where he is ranked.
Would Roger love to be #1 and get the record? Of course. Would his fans love to see this happen? Of course. He missed a huge chance because he had it in his hands to get the record, but tennis isn't predictable.
Let's not forget that Rafa could have been #1 much earlier already with the amount of points he had in previous years. It's impossible to get every record in tennis or sport in general.