Novak Djokovic has message for Jannik Sinner after officially losing No. 1 spot

On Monday, 22-year-old Sinner officially replaced Djokovic at the world No. 1 spot.

by Dzevad Mesic
Novak Djokovic has message for Jannik Sinner after officially losing No. 1 spot
© Getty Images Sport - Daniel Pockett

Novak Djokovic sent out a very classy message to Jannik Sinner after the Italian officially replaced him at the world No. 1 spot, telling the 22-year-old that it was "a well-deserved" achievement.

This Monday, Sinner reached the world No. 1 spot for the first time in his career with a total of 9,525 ranking points. On the other side, Djokovic - who was the world No. 1 for the first six months of the season - plummeted to No. 3 in the world with a current total of 8,360 points as Carlos Alcaraz is also the new world No. 2.

And on the day Sinner officially became the top-ranked player in men's tennis, he was presented with the world No. 1 trophy by ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi in Monte Carlo. 

"Thank you @atptour for today’s presentation, a lovely moment and I now look forward to start the grass court season," Sinner captioned his Instagram post that featured him and the world No. 1 trophy he received.

In the comment section, Djokovic wrote: "Congratulations on well deserved top spot of the world of tennis."

Novak Djokovic comment
Novak Djokovic comment© Instagram

What Djokovic said about the possibility of losing the world No. 1 spot to Sinner?

Before the French Open started, it was clear that Sinner would have good chances of replacing Djokovic at the world No. 1 spot. For Djokovic, one of the options to keep his world No. 1 spot required him to win the French Open and have Sinner lose before the final. 

However, when asked about the prospect of Sinner being the world No. 1 after the French Open, Djokovic insisted it wouldn't be a big deal even if he lost the top ranking. When claiming that, the 37-year-old Serb underlined that Grand Slams and team competitions were his biggest goals at this part of his career.

"At Slams, there is still a lot of motivation. At other tournaments not so much, but Slams, playing for Serbia, Olympics… Those kinds of things still move me, still give me strength and desire. I mean, that really is sufficient at this point in my career, that’s why I still play professionally," Djokovic said.

"Ranking is not my priority anymore – whether I add one, five or ten more weeks, it doesn’t concern me, I think I’ve done pretty well in that department (smiling)."

After Sinner reached the French Open quarterfinal and Djokovic pulled out of his quarterfinal match due to a right knee injury, Djokovic was automatically out of contention to keep his world No. 1 spot. Addressing his new milestone, the 22-year-old Italian said becoming the world No. 1 was a dream come true but also wished Djokovic a quick recovery from his knee surgery. 

"What can I say? First of all it is every player's dream to become No. 1 in the world. In the other way, seeing Novak retiring here I think is disappointing. I wish him a speedy recovery," Sinner said after securing the world No. 1 position. 

Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner
Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Mats Wilander thinks Novak Djokovic is still 'the best' despite Sinner being No. 1

Although Sinner ended up losing to Alcaraz in the French Open semifinal, he is still the player who has had the most success in 2024. So far this year, Sinner has posted a 33-3 record and he had wins at the Australian Open, Miami Masters and Rotterdam.

On the other side, Djokovic hasn't won any titles this year and he just hasn't looked like himself in the first half of 2024. At the French Open, Djokovic's struggles continued but he was finding ways to win matches and make the quarterfinal. But then, a knee injury suffered in the round-of-16 match against Francisco Cerundolo prevented Djokovic from continuing his Paris run. 

While Sinner has undoubtedly been the best player this year, former seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander argued that Djokovic should still be considered "the best" because his French Open run didn't finish by a defeat but with an injury. 

“I know very well that Sinner has just had an exceptional first part of the season and that the computer is not lying,” Wilander told L’Equipe.

“But I also don’t forget that Novak remains the defending champion at the US Open and the Masters (ATP Finals), and that he was a finalist at Wimbledon a year ago. As long as he is there, for me, he remains the best.

“And we saw in his end of the match against Cerundolo that, even injured, when he goes into ‘Djoko mode’, he is almost unbeatable. In fact, he fell to second place in the world due to a health problem. Not on a defeat.”

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic © Getty Images Sport - Elsa

Currently, Djokovic is recovering from right knee procedure he had last Wednesday in Paris.

Novak Djokovic Jannik Sinner