It is safe to say that World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has returned to his best. The Serbian who did not play a single match till the last week of February this season has done the hard work once again to rise to the top. Over the course of Golden Swing, his results have improved and the crest of his performance was seen yesterday when he defeated the in-form Stefanos Tsitsipas to win the 2022 Rome Masters.
It was Novak’s second finals of the season while Stef was playing in his third finals having claimed the 2022 Monte-Carlo Masters last month when Novak was ousted in the second round of the tournament. Since then, Novak has only gone from strength to strength as he made it to the finals in Belgrade, a semi-final run in the Madrid Masters and now a title in Rome.
With the 2022 French Open set to begin in a week’s time, a Masters title couldn’t have come at a better time for Novak who is the defending champion at Roland Garros this year and is looking for his record-matching 21st Grand Slam title but is likely to face a stern test from 19-year old Carlos Alcaraz already the World No. 6 in ATP rankings and had beaten Novak recently in the 2022 Madrid Masters.
Alcaraz, the Tour leader for titles won this season, is dubbed as title favourite at the French Open as his three out of the four titles this season have come on Clay. Looking at this, former doubles World No. 1 Paul McNamee has made his choice clear for the title favourite at the Roland Garros this year.
“Novak Djokovic wins Rome without losing a set. Impressive. With all due respect to the ‘Next One’ Carlos Alcaraz, who’s time will come, the favourite for Roland Garros must now be ‘The One’,” tweeted McNamee who had reached the fourth round in Paris in 1980 in the singles while being a doubles semi-finalist in 1986 along with partner Heinz Gunthardt.
Novak Djokovic secures the top seed at the 2022 French Open
Novak was at risk of losing his World No. 1 rank to World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev at the Rome Masters with Medvedev not even playing. As Novak was the runner-up last year, had he failed to qualify for the semi-finals, the Russian player who spent 2-weeks at the top of the rankings earlier this year would have started another spell at the top.
By winning the title however, Djokovic confirms another couple of weeks as the World No. 1 and will be at the top until the 2022 French Open finishes. This ensures Novak is into the 370th week at the top of the rankings and is now just 7 weeks shy of breaking Steffi Graf‘s long-standing record of 377 weeks achieved during the 1997 season.