ATP No.1 scenarios: Sinner chases Djokovic, but the Serb has an ally...

Sinner not so close to Nole as to be able to attempt the attack already at the Italian Internationals

by Lorenzo Ciotti
ATP No.1 scenarios: Sinner chases Djokovic, but the Serb has an ally...
© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

The clay-swing is heading towards the Roland Garros and its great protagonists are all having problems.

Novak Djokovic, who will return to Rome, is having a season under expectations.

Jannik Sinner is paying for the effort of the first three exceptional months. The young Italian suffered a hip injury which forced him to withdraw from Madrid early and puts his presence in Rome in doubt.

Even Carlos Alcaraz, after the elimination in Madrid (where he was defending champion), suffered a new injury which officially forced him to give up the Italian Open.

Carlos Alcaraz, Madrid 2024
Carlos Alcaraz, Madrid 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Both Sinner and Alcaraz hope to recover from their respective physical problems in time for the Roland Garros, also because there is another goal to motivate them: the ATP No.1 spot.

There are 1130 points that now separate Jannik Sinner from the throne of men's tennis, occupied by Novak Djokovic. With two major events still to be played on clay, the distance between the two has narrowed even further and the fight for ATP No.1 has become even more exciting to follow as the weeks have passed.

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

The quarter-finals reached at the Mutua Madrid Open (also the same result as Alcaraz) allowed the Italian to add another 200 points. The Serbian, not participating in the Spanish tournament, did not move from 9990 points, given that he had also missed it in 2023.

To date, the ATP ranking says:

Novak Djokovic 9990
Jannik Sinner 8860
Carlos Alcaraz 7345

Looking at the ATP Race, which is considered for the ATP Finals, Sinner has an abysmal advantage over all his opponents. The second is currently Medvedev, who is over 1500 points away. Alcaraz at -2600, while Nole has accumulated more than 3000 points and is currently not qualified for the Turin Masters.

Coming back to talk about the ATP ranking, it can be said that Djokovic can take advantage of an ally, or a favorable situation: the precarious physical conditions of Sinner and Alcaraz. On the contrary, if Nole returns to top physical form, the ATP No.1 spot will remain in his hands, if at the same time the physical problems that are tormenting Sinner and Alcaraz prevent them from competing at their highest level.

For Sinner, the first overtaking opportunity will not be at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. Djokovic and Sinner will arrive at the Italian competition with more than 1000 points between them.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

Sinner will only have the opportunity to reduce the gap, given that he will lose just 90 points and Djokovic 180. Everything is postponed to the Roland Garros, in which the Serb will be called upon to defend the title and therefore 2000 points, compared to just 45 in Italian who last year was eliminated in the second round by Altmaier in 5 sets.

Reaching the final stages of the Parisian Slam means mathematical ATP no.1 ranking for Sinner. Removing the certain points that the two athletes will lose between Rome and Paris, while waiting to find out what results they will obtain this year, the situation would be this:

Jannik Sinner 8725
Novak Djokovic 7810

Therefore, it could be enough for Sinner to score 915 points less than the Serbian champion to conquer the ATP No.1 sport after the Roland Garros final, scheduled for Sunday 9 June.