Novak Djokovic loses more than a match by withdrawing from French Open

Djokovic withdrew from the French Open on Tuesday and will lose much more than a match.
Novak Djokovic at the French Open
Novak Djokovic at the French Open / Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

The old king is proverbially dead. Long live the new king. This is what will happen now that Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the French Open after suffering a recent knee injury. The injury might have come in Djokovic's fourth round match which was a five-set victory over Francisco Cerundolo. Casper Ruud, who was set to be Djokovic's opponent in the quarterfinals will now get a free pass into the semifinals.

The loss means several things. The most minor of which is that Djokovic will once again fail to make a final at an event in 2024. Since 2006, this is the longest stretch to begin a year that Djokovic will not have made at least a final, let alone win a tournament.

The most major issue for Djokovic is that he will now lose his ATP No. 1 ranking to Jannik Sinner. Sinner was bounced out of the French Open early in 2023 so any points he was to pick up would allow him to catch up quite quickly in rankings points to the Serb. Djokovic would have had to make the final at Roland Garros to have had a chance of holding on to his top ranking.

Novak Djokovic withdraws from French Open and loses top ATP ranking

The official rankings will not come out until June 10, but no matter what Sinner does the rest of the tournament, he will take over No. 1. He will become the first Italian man ever to reach that ranking. Sinner has a chance to win the French Open still as he defeated Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals, and he will play the winner of the Carlos Alcaraz versus Stefanos Tsitsipas match in the semifinal.

Rafael Nadal discusses being watch at the French Open. Rafael Nadal discusses being watch at the French Open. dark. Next

Should Sinner win at Roland Garros, he will have won the first two majors of 2024. The last ATP player to win a calendar Grand Slam was Rod Laver in 1969. Sinner would need to win the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open to match that feat.

Either way, Djokovic's withdrawal hands the top ranking to Jannik Sinner. Djokovic could conceivably fall to No. 3 in the rankings should Carlos Alcaraz win the French Open.

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