Jannik Sinner could win by not playing at the French Open

Sinner is struggling with a hip injury.
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Seemingly the only way of stopping Jannik Sinner in 2024 is if he gets injured. To open the year, Sinner has more titles than losses. He is 28-2 but has won the Australian Open, the Rotterdam Open, and the Miami Masters. But he has not played since late April because of a hip injury.

Sinner seems increasingly unlikely to play at the French Open in late May too. The only way to truly get over his hip issue is to rest. He had to skip the Italian Open to rest the hip and there has been no rapid improvement of the problem. Sinner is trying to be great in the long term and there is no reason to risk greater injury while trying to play in the next Grand Slam event.

Italian websites seem to all but confirm Sinner is not going to step foot on a Paris court. This would indicate there is no real timetable for Sinner's return. His next event might not be until Wimbledon in July. The Italian has not won the grass-court major yet, but he has increased his performance each time in the last three years. He reached the semifinals in 2023.

Jannik Sinner is injured but might still keep winning

The opposite has been true at the French Open. Sinner made the quarterfinals in 2020, then the fourth round in both 2021 and 2022, but he lost in the second round last year. That loss might turn out to be a blessing in disguise in 2024, however. Sinner does not have many points to defend at Roland Garros this year so if he can't play, he does not really lose much.

In fact, because he doesn't have many points to defend and he is still ranked No. 2, Sinner could be a winner during the French Open by not playing. That is because current ATP No. 1 Novak Djokovic won the French Open last year and will have 2,000 points to defend, but Djokovic has not made a final at all in 2024. He leads Sinner by 1,130 points in the live ATP rankings but will have 2,000 points fall off ahead of the French.

As long as Djokovic does not earn the 1,200 points by reaching the French Open final, he cannot accrue enough points to get back to No. 1 once the French Open ends. No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz made the semifinals at the French Open last year so he could not gain enough points, even should he win the event, to overtake Sinner either. In other words, Sinner seems a safe bet to be the top-ranked player on the ATP tour by mid-June at the latest.

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