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The last few years have been the most difficult in the career of Novak Djokovic, who despite the obstacles, has left everything on the court to stay at the top of professional tennis. For two decades the Serbian tennis player was only concerned with competing with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with whom he shares several impressive records and titles.
After the retirement of the Swiss player and the constant injuries of the Spaniard, Djokovic was set to become the sole leader of the ranking for a long period. However, other players have emerged who have snatched the throne on more than one occasion.
His biggest rival at the moment is Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz, who has taken the lead from Djokovic on more than one occasion, most recently a few days ago after the Rome Masters. Another player who has overtaken the Serbian tennis player is Daniil Medvedev, who already knows what it is to be number one in the world and a few days ago sent Djokovic to third place in the ranking.
Novak Djokovic’s return to the throne will depend on his performance in the upcoming tournaments he is scheduled to participate. Let’s take a look at the schedule of the current No. 3 in the ATP rankings.
Next Novak Djokovic´s Challenge
Novak Djokovic’s chances of regaining the top ATP rankings will depend on his performance at Roland Garros 2023. In the previous edition, the Serbian tennis player reached the quarter-finals, losing to Rafa Nadal.
This tournament has historically belonged to Rafael Nadal who won 14 of the last 18 editions, including the previous edition. Novak Djokovic has been able to lift this title only twice, in 2016 and the last time was in 2021.
Novak is 860 points behind current world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz. The only way for Djokovic to regain the throne without relying on other results is to lift the title at the second Grand Slam of the year.
Although Djokovic must overcome great opponents from the first round through to the quarter-finals, his biggest opponent would find him in a possible semi-final, in which he would take on Alcaraz. The winner of that match would be destined for the top of the ATP rankings.
Achievement unlocked 🔓
The defending champion glides through to the QF’s in Rome for the 17th consecutive year 👉@InteBNLdItalia | #IBI23 pic.twitter.com/DMHaiArxoK
— ATP Tour (@atptour) May 16, 2023
Third Round: Novak Djokovic vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
For the fourth time in his career, the Serb will face Davidovich Fokina. In 2021, they met on a couple of occasions and each time, Djokovic won in straight sets.
The last time they met was in the second round of Monte Carlo 2022. On that occasion, we saw an entertaining first and second set, but an extra set had to be played and this time the Spaniard would win it with a lot of freshness.
Based on the performance so far, Djokovic as always is favourite to win, and reaffirmed it after overcoming the first 2 rounds of Roland Garros 2023 in straight sets. Almendro did have some problems, especially in the first set.
Second Round: Djokovic defeated Marton Fucsovics 7-6 6-0 6-3
First Round: Djokovic defeated Aleksandar Kovacevic 6-3 6-2 7-6
Novak Djokovic´s 2023 Performance
This season has been a rollercoaster ride for Novak Djokovic, full of very satisfying moments and some uncomfortable ones, something that has become commonplace over the last three years. What started as a great season has been diluted little by little due to the obstacles he has had to overcome.
In January we saw how the Serbian tennis player started his adventure in Adelaide, where he won 5 matches, 4 of them in straight sets. Among his most important rivals were Daniil Medvedev, and Sebastian Korda, whom he defeated in the final.
Then, he had his first big challenge of the year at the Australian Open, where he had been booted out a year earlier, hours before his first match. This time, Djokovic was given the freedom to participate, and he made the most of the opportunity.
Continuing the winning streak, Novak played seven matches to lift the title. Notably, he won six matches in straight sets including the final against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Novak played 22 total sets during the Grand Slam, he lost just one.
After winning the two tournaments in which he participated, Djokovic could not compete in some of the most important tournaments such as the Miami Open or Indian Wells. The tennis player was not allowed to enter the North American country because he was not vaccinated.
The lack of continuity likely influenced Novak’s performance, which is why his recent performances could have been better, especially on clay. His best performance on this surface was at Rome Masters 2023, where he reached the quarter-finals and lost to the young Holger Rune.
ATP Rankings Updates – Can Djokovic Get Back to the Top?
Thank you for all of the bday wishes !! ❤️🙏🏼🏼 https://t.co/aZrrZlFhMY
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) May 22, 2023
- Carlos Alcaraz 6815
- Daniil Medvedev 6330
- Novak Djokovic 5955
- Casper Ruud 4915
- Stefanos Tsitsipas 4475
We are sure that Novak Djokovic will continue to surprise us with his great style of play for a few more years. If you look at the top 10 Seeds in the ATP rankings, you will notice that the Serbian is the only player to be over 30 years old he is almost 10 years older than Daniil Medvedev, the second oldest player in the Top 10.
The direct option that the Serbian tennis player has to retake the lead in the ATP ranking is that he lifts the Roland Garros 2023 trophy. This would give him enough points to overtake the Spanish player.
The second option would be for Alcaraz to be eliminated in the first rounds and for Djokovic to reach at least the final. Those are some of the most viable possibilities, either way, the Serbian tennis player should aim to improve his performance. If he fails to return to the number one spot in this tournament, he will probably do so in the next month’s tournaments.