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Tennis News: Jannik Sinner lose No. 1 and……….

Tennis News: Jannik Sinner close to No. 1 and Novak Djokovic’s drought

Jannik Sinner is not doing well currently health-wise. Not that he can help being injured, of course. He likely wants to normally play tennis, but he should have even more motivation currently: He could be on the cusp of becoming the ATP’s top-ranked player.

Currently, Sinner is No. 2 and over 1,000 short of current No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Men’s tennis has been odd this year because the top three men have also struggled with form or injuries, and sometimes both, and yet no one seems capable of moving up past them. Djokovic, Sinner, and No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz are set at the top for now, but possibly not in that order.

Djokovic has not won a tournament this year (more on that in just a moment) and was bounced out of the Masters 1000 Italian Open convincingly by Chilean Alejandro Tabilo. The Serb appeared uninspired and without his usual elite focus and will to win. Djokovic seemed to be playing a practice round while Tabilo was attempting to win a real match.

Jannik Sinner chases No. 1 and Novak Djokovic cannot win

Now Djokovic has 2,000 points to defend at the upcoming French Open as he won the Grand Slam in 2023. Those points will fall off before the event which means he would enter Roland Garros with 7,860 points and Sinner, who had to withdraw from the Italian Open with a hip injury, would have an ATP-leading 8,725 points.

To maintain his No. 1 ranking, Sinner just needs to make a decent run at the French Open. Djokovic needs to make the final four of the tournament, though. Sinner only made the second round in Paris in 2023 so, if he plays as he has for most of 2024, he is going to pick up a lot of points while Djokovic, if he plays as he has this year, will lose a bunch. The official rankings after the French Open will come out on June 10.

Speaking of Djokovic not doing nearly as well in 2024 as he normally does, he has not even made the final of any tournament he has entered. He is currently undergoing the third-longest drought of his career to open a year in every year since he won his first ATP title, the Dutch Open in July of 2006. He has begun a year ten times by, at the latest, winning the Australian Open in late January, but in 2024 he only made the semifinals before he lost to Sinner.

Djokovic’s previous two longest droughts were in 2018 and 2022. In 2018, he was still working back into form after being injured in 2017. The first tournament Djokovic won that year was Wimbledon in July.

2022 should come with an asterisk because of Djokovic’s unvaccinated situation. He was not allowed to play in the Australian Open or in the American Sunshine Double so the events he was able to enter were limited. In other words, since 2006, Djokovic has had the worst start to any year except 2018.

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