Djokovic eyes record-equaling year-end No. 1 ranking

YB WEB DESK. Dated: 11/9/2019 11:36:42 AM


London, Nov 8 If Novak Djokovic is to claim the year-end number ranking for a recordequalling sixth time he will have to do it the hard way at the ATP Finals next week in London. The Serb was knocked off top spot by Rafael Nadal on Monday despite winning the Paris Masters last week and will need a strong finish alongside the River Thames to snatch it back. Only Pete Sampras has finished a year on top six times and Djokovic’s hopes of emulating the American are not in his own hands with Nadal leading by 640 points heading to the climax. Nadal, 33, is bidding to become the ATP’s oldest year-end number but with 200 points awarded for round-robin wins, 400 for a semi-final win and 500 for winning the final the door is still ajar for Djokovic to deny him. Spaniard Nadal has often struggled physically in London and pulled out of his Paris Masters semi-final against Denis Shapovalov last week citing an abdominal issue when victory would have put him virtually out of reach. He intends to play in London having been drawn in a round-robin group alongside 2018 ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev and debutants Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. If Nadal fails to win a round-robin match, Djokovic would still need to win two group matches and reach the final to dislodge him. Djokovic will also finish the year as number one by winning the title, providing Nadal does not reach the semis. Djokovic faces a tough group though, with sixtime champion Roger Federer, French Open runner- up Dominic Thiem and Italian Matteo Berrettini, the third newcomer in this year’s event, who he will play in Sunday’s opening singles.

 

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