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Djokovic Spies No. 1 Chance at Roland Garros

Battle For No. 1

Djokovic, Nadal© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will contest the No. 1 spot at Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal is guaranteed to hold on to the No. 1 spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the next 2 1/2 weeks, but there could be a change at the top of men's professional tennis following the Roland Garros final in just under three weeks’ time.

Novak Djokovic’s victory over his Spanish rival in the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Sunday has given the Serb a strong chance of reclaiming the No. 1 ranking by the end of the European clay-court swing.

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If Nadal and Djokovic were to meet in the championship match at Roland Garros – and they are set to be the top two seeds - the Emirates ATP Rankings No. 1 would hinge on the outcome, with the victor taking all the spoils. However, the contest could already be decided by then:

  • If Nadal were to lose against another opponent in the final, he would need to hope Djokovic lost in the quarter-finals or earlier to hang on to the No. 1 spot. 
  • Anything less than a semi-final showing from Nadal would guarantee Djokovic the top spot, regardless of the Belgrade native’s performance.

The 26-year-old Djokovic relinquished the No. 1 spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings to Nadal on 7 October, following a stellar comeback by the Spaniard in 2013. However, since falling to World No. 2, Djokovic has lost just three matches. He went unbeaten at the close of 2013, picking up titles in Shanghai, Paris and at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London before his winning run was ended in the Australian Open quarter-finals by Stan Wawrinka.

This season, Djokovic won back-to-back ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in Indian Wells and Miami before winning his 19th of the coveted Masters 1000 trophies last week in Rome. His efforts see him go into Roland Garros just 650 points behind Nadal in the Emirates ATP Rankings, defending 720 points following his semi-final showing last year.

The 27-year-old Nadal, who leads the ATP World Tour with a 34-6 match record this season, is defending 2000 points at Roland Garros, having lifted the trophy in the French capital for the eighth time last season with victory over David Ferrer

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