Jannik Sinner to become unofficial world No 1 after shock Novak Djokovic loss – what he needs to do to make it official

Shahida Jacobs
Jannik Sinner light-hearted moment
Jannik Sinner of Italy is seen laughing after his tennis match

Jannik Sinner will rise to the top of the Live ATP Rankings at the start of the French Open following reigning world No 1 Novak Djokovic’s surprise early exit from the Italian Open.

With Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz both missing in Rome due to injury, Djokovic was in the driving seed ahead of Roland Garros as he took a sizeable lead into the tournament and was expected to build an even bigger advantage as most people expected that he would reach the latter stages of the ATP Masters 1000 event.

However, the six-time Italian Open champion suffered a shock 6-2, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Alejandro Tabilo in the third round on Sunday.

Before the match, Djokovic had a 1,090-point lead over second-placed Sinner with Alcaraz another 1,000-plus points behind behind in third place.

Top Three In Live Rankings

1. Novak Djokovic 9,860
2. Jannik Sinner 8,770
3. Carlos Alcaraz 7,300

But that lead will now remain at 1,090 points and there is further bad news for Djokovic ahead of Roland Garros as he is the defending champion while Sinner lost early in Paris last year.

It means once the points come off at the start of the French Open, Sinner will become the unofficial world No 1 as he will be 8,725 points – a handy 865-point lead over Djokovic who will be on 7,860 points with Alcaraz on 6,500 points.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic booed after ‘flat, underwhelming, shocking’ performance during Rome upset

So what does Sinner have to do at Roland Garros to remain ahead of Djokovic and officially become world No 1?

Of course, winning the title is the easiest way to make sure you stay at No 1, but the reigning Australian Open champion doesn’t have to do too much as the onus is on Djokovic.

The 24-time Grand Slam winner basically needs to win the title and hope that Sinner doesn’t make much headway at the event.

If Djokovic does win the title then Sinner has to finish runner-up in Rome to deny the Serbian the world No 1 ranking after the tournament. If Djokovic finishes runner-up then Sinner needs to reach the semi-final.

But one thing is certain, Djokovic needs to reach at least the last four to have any hope of keeping the No 1 spot, but then he would need Sinner to exit the French Open early on.

Djokovic is currently in his 10th stint as No 1 and he has topped the rankings since September 11 last year following his successful US Open title run as he replaced Alcaraz at the top.

He has already spent a record 424 weeks at No 1 and will remain there for another four weeks as his current 1,095-point lead will see him stay ahead of Sinner after the Italian Open and through the French Open with the official rankings only updated again on June 10.