ATP Race to Turin: Novak Djokovic in precarious position

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic’s place in the ATP Tour Finals in Turin is far from guaranteed despite his Grand Slam triumph.

Djokovic is currently on the bubble as it were, holding the World No 7 ranking but the ace up his sleeve is still his Wimbledon win.

He may have missed out on the 2000 rankings points at SW19, but Djokovic is still well placed given the current position of the year’s other Slam winners.

Both Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz are comfortably inside the top seven and have already assured themselves of places in Turin meaning that Djokovic could take the eighth place in the tournament even if he continues to tumble in the rankings.

Djokovic cannot afford too drastic a slide though as an exit from the top 20, however improbable that may seem would see the Serb lose out on a place in the Tour finals for just the second time since he made his event debut in 2007.

Whether Djokovic can hold onto a top 20 ranking depends heavily on both when he gets back onto the ATP Tour and the form of the players around him in the rankings.

While he has withdrawn from Serbia’s Davis Cup commitments, Djokovic remains a part of the Laver Cup team that is set to combine the powers of tennis’ big four of Djokovic, Roger Federer, Nadal and Andy Murray.

While the Laver Cup is an ATP Tour sanctioned event it does not carry the lure of any rankings points and at this stage he has not entered the Moselle Open which signals the start of the European indoor season.

Working in Djokovic’s favour is the fact that he doesn’t have any rankings points to defend until the Paris Masters and could therefore gain a lot of ground if he takes part in ATP Tour events between now and the end of October.

With the Chinese swing removed from the ATP Tour as the country continues to pursue its zero-covid policy, the October schedule has a radically different look to it.

With the Shanghai Masters, China Open in Beijing, Chengdu Open, and Zhuhai Championships falling away the ATP Tour announced six events to replace those.

Had the Chinese swing gone ahead it might well have seen Djokovic excluded though and he might be grateful that the rankings points have been spread out across more events.

The Astana Open receiving an upgrade could also be of great assistance to Djokovic if he favours staying in Europe over travelling to Japan for the parallel ATP 500 event in Tokyo which has also been bumped up from a 250 event on a temporary basis.

For Djokovic the defence of his Paris Masters crown might be significant, coming as it does right before the cut-off for the ATP Tour Finals.

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