Novak Djokovic needs to do one simple thing to hold on to year-end No. 1

(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images) /

Novak Djokovic seems to break records every time he steps on the court at this point. At 36 years old and after all the tournaments he has won, he can’t help it. He recently won his 40th Masters 1000 tournament, which is, of course, a record.

Novak Djokovic has 24 Grand Slams, two more than the next-best player. In second place currently is Rafael Nadal and Nadal has very little chance of catching Djokovic at this point. Djokovic would likely have to stop playing majors while Nadal would have to get and stay healthy and win something other than the French Open.

As far as weeks at No. 1 on the ATP tour, Novak Djokovic leads the all-time list there as well, of course. He currently has 398 weeks atop the rankings, and the next-closest is Roger Federer who sits at 310 weeks. In other words, Federer would have to come back and play extremely high-level tennis immediately, regain No. 1, and stay there for over a year and a half simply to catch Djokovic’s current record.

Novak Djokovic will almost certainly be the year-end No. 1 in 2023

The thingis that Djokovic is not likely to stay at 398. He will certainly be ranked No. 1 at the beginning of next week which would be week 399. And because he defeated Grigor Dimitrov at the Rolex Paris Masters this past weekend, he has almost cemented his year-end No. 1 ranking. In fact, Carlos Alcaraz, the current No. 2, would need a minor miracle to happen to surpass Djokovic.

An undefeated winner of the ATP Finals, which begin next week and features the ATP players that have accrued the most points since last year’s ATP Finals, receives 1,500 points. Novak Djokovic currently leads Alcaraz by 1,490 points. So Alcaraz would have to sweep his matches at the year-end tournament. The way he is playing, Alcaraz will be lucky to even get to the semifinals in the round-robin tournament.

But all Djokovic has to do is win one match at the ATP Finals. Most likely, he will make his way to the semifinals, at least, as Djokovic seems to always do that. But let’s assume Djokovic has a terrible time at the ATP Finals, the chances of him losing his first three matches seems extremely unlikely. Chances are Djokovic finishes No. 1 for an eighth year, and yes…that would also be a record, but it would only break his previous record.

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