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Djokovic on bid to reclaim No. 1 ranking at ATP Finals: 'I have to keep winning'

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 4 Nov 2019
  • Djokovic has relinquished the No. 1 ranking to Nadal despite winning Paris Masters
  • Serbian star can reclaim it at ATP Finals depending on his and Nadal's respective results
Novak Djokovic with the Rolex Paris Masters trophy (PA Images)

Novak Djokovic knows he has to ‘keep winning’ in order to reclaim the No. 1 ranking at next week’s Nitto ATP Finals in London.

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Djokovic could have seen his year-end No. 1 hopes fade away this past week, but after Rafael Nadal was forced to withdraw from the Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals and he ultimately won the title without dropping a set, the Serbian sees himself just 640 points behind the Spaniard heading into London.

Nadal is also under some doubt to compete at the ATP Finals after suffering an abdominal injury during practice in Paris ahead of the semi-finals.


Djokovic, who is aiming to finish as year-end No. 1 for the sixth time (which would equal the record held by Pete Sampras), can secure 1,500 points as an undefeated champion, but ultimately his chances to finish 2019 in top spot hinges on Nadal’s results.

If Nadal wins all three of his round robin matches and reaches the final, Djokovic won’t be able to surpass him even if wins the title staying undefeated.

Novak Djokovic (PA Images)
However, if Nadal loses one or more round robin matches (but still makes the final), Djokovic can return to No. 1 as an undefeated champion.

“That puts me in a better position after this week. But, again, I have to keep on winning. There's always a chance that I win all my matches in London, that I play well,” Djokovic said. “I have done it in the past, and I like playing there. But it's [an] extremely difficult task considering who my opponents are going to be. You're playing a Top 10 player every single match.
“So that's a big task on my end that I have to focus on. And as a consequence, if I manage to get the year-end No. 1, that would be, of course, fantastic.”

Nadal could have wrapped up the year-end No. 1 ranking had he won a first Rolex Paris Masters title, but he wasn’t able to take to court for a semi-final clash with Denis Shapovalov after suffering an abdominal injury in practice.

The Spaniard has returned home to Mallorca and has a week to recover in time for the ATP Finals in London, which begins on November 10.

Despite being locked in a battle with Nadal for the No. 1 ranking, Djokovic said he hoped his great rival would be able to take his spot in London.

“I’m sad to see that he's injured because that's not what you want to see, not for Rafa, not for any other athlete. I know how that feels. Obviously I went through major injuries in my life as well,” Djokovic said. 
“I hope he can recover and compete in London. Because with or without him, obviously, also the battle for No. 1 but also the tournament itself is different. He's a great champion and obviously lots of respect for him.”

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Djokovic on bid to reclaim No. 1 ranking at ATP Finals: "I have to keep winning"

Novak Djokovic knows he has to ‘keep winning’ in order to reclaim the No. 1 ranking at next week’s Nitto ATP Finals in London.

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