Novak Djokovic has to achieve this points total to keep World No.1 spot after Roland Garros as Jannik Sinner withdrawal rules out Rome switch

Monday, 06 May 2024 at 22:30
The withdrawal of Jannik Sinner from the Rome Open and doubts about his presence at Roland Garros could favor Novak Djokovic in retaining the world No. 1 spot. The young Italian experienced hip problems at the Madrid Open, forcing him to withdraw before his quarterfinal match against Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Sinner boasts a 28-2 record in 2024 with three titles so far. His impressive performances have propelled him to his highest ranking as world No. 2 after winning the Miami Open, and each week he has been closing the gap on Djokovic, who has held the top spot since September 2023.

Djokovic's chance to maintain the world No. 1 position

Nole hasn't had a good 2024 season and currently sits at 12th in the ATP Race to Turin. The 24-times Grand Slam champion has only played in three tournaments this year and has yet to secure any titles. Additionally, he faces a significant point defense with the French Open title defense, which will be a crucial event in the battle for the world No. 1 ranking.
However, Sinner's physical issues prevented him from continuing his campaign in Madrid and now he withdraws from his local tournament while keeping his participation in Roland Garros in doubt. The Italian defends only 135 points for the remainder of the clay swing compared to Djokovic's 2,180. As of May 6th, Djokovic leads with 9,990 points, followed by Sinner with 8,860.

Points to defend

Djokovic returns to the court at the Rome Open, where he defends his quarterfinal appearance from last year, where he fell to Holger Rune in three sets. A couple of weeks later, he will have to defend his French Open title (2,000 points) won in 2023 by defeating Casper Ruud in the final in straight sets.
On the other hand, Sinner's previous years have never brought him great results on clay. A year ago in Rome, he was eliminated in the round of 16 by Argentine Francisco Cerundolo in three sets, earning only 90 points. At the French Open, his second-round defeat was one of the early surprises of the tournament, considering he entered as the 8th seed but lost in a tight five-set match against German Daniel Altmaier, earning only 45 points.
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Djokovic won his 23rd Grand Slam title at Roland Garros last year

What happens if Sinner doesn't compete at Roland Garros?

The scenario is ideal for Djokovic, who with less than 1000 points, will remain in the top spot. 'Nole' has 7,810 points guaranteed until the end of Roland Garros compared to Sinner's 8,725 points, leaving a difference of 915 ATP points.
If Sinner is absent in Paris, Djokovic needs to accumulate 915 points between Rome and the French Open, something that doesn't seem too improbable for the Serbian.
A possible scenario is that Djokovic becomes the champion at the Rome Open and secures the world No. 1 position even without stepping onto the court at Roland Garros. In the event of being a runner-up in Rome, reaching the quarterfinals of the French Open will be sufficient for him to maintain the No. 1 spot. Another possible scenario is Djokovic reaching the semifinals at Roland Garros and at least the quarterfinals in Rome.

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