World No. 1 for 363 weeks and confirmed to stay so for more 2 weeks, Novak Djokovic does not need to step on the court to maintain his rank at the top of the ATP rankings. With more than 363 weeks, Novak has now spent 7 years at the top of the rankings from a career that is into its 19th season as Novak turned Pro in 2003.
Absent on the Tour for another month after missing the month of January, Djokovic has played only 3 matches this season during his run to the quarter-finals of the 2022 Dubai Tennis Championships. With the hardcourt season taking a stop for a while after the finals of the 2022 Miami Masters are played out, Novak can expect a good run of matches to contest in, as the Clay season will be played majorly in Europe where the restrictions for Covid-19 vaccination are comparatively liberal.
With doubts on which tournament will Novak actually play in having confirmed his participation earlier in only the 2022 Monte-Carlo Masters and the 2022 Belgrade Open, Novak’s brother Djordje Djokovic, tournament director of the Belgrade Open and a Pro on the Tour himself clarified that Novak will be playing a complete Clay season missing only 1 week of action during the Golden Swing of the Tour.
“He lacks the continuity of matches and tournaments, to be on the field. I hope that he will continue with great games, and Belgrade and Monte Carlo are tournaments where he is preparing for Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Until the last moment, he did not know if he would be able to play, but fortunately, he will also appear in Paris, Rome, London and Madrid. The ATP is not asked so much here, but the rules are followed from state to state,” said Djordje during his recent interview with Serbian media outlet Alo.
Novak Djokovic stands a chance to extend his Masters title record
With 37 Master titles to his name, no other player has won more titles in the ATP-1000 category than Novak. Close rival Rafael Nadal came very close to matching the record when he reached the finals of the 2022 Indian Wells Masters but failed to win as he was not completely fit given he had picked up a stress fracture in the rib that was diagnosed later.
With the injury set to keep Nadal out at least till May and making the Mallorcan highly doubtful even to return at the start of May, Novak has a brilliant chance to extend his lead. With Masters events in Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Rome to be played during the next two months, Nadal is doubtful for Madrid while he is confirmed out from Monte-Carlo. He might play in Rome but his fitness will always remain a concern presenting Novak a fantastic opportunity to breach the 40-Masters title mark.