Novak Djokovic makes his long awaited return to tennis this week at the Paris Indoors Masters. The Serb has been off the tour since his loss in the US Open final over 1.5 months ago.
Despite the time off, Djokovic still has a 1,900 point cushion for the year-end No. 1 ranking on Daniil Medvedev. But with 1,000 points available in Paris this week and another 1,500 possible at the ATP Finals where Medvedev will defend his title.
So if Djokovic can well in Paris and Medvedev fails to make the final, he would wrap up a record seventh year-end No. 1.
“The year-end No. 1 is on the line between Medvedev and myself, and I’m in a pretty good position,” Djokovic said. “That’s obviously the goal for the end of the season other than trying to do well in the Davis Cup with the national team. So hopefully I can have a strong finish of the season and clinch that year-end No. 1.”
Djokovic is a 5-time champion at the event, but is wary of his lack of play.
“I’m pleased to be back. I have been training really well past couple of weeks. And I have had plenty of success in Paris Bercy over the years, so that gives me enough reason to believe that I can do well, and I can go far in the tournament,” he said. “But having said that, the lack of match play could be dangerous, so I have to really make sure that I start off my first match very well with a good intensity and build my form as that match passes on and hopefully get a win and get myself more comfortable on this court and just getting that match play in.”
The No. 1 also reflected on what turned out to be a disappointing end to the summer in New York where he came up just three sets from a Calendar Grand Slam.
“This was not an ordinary loss considering the circumstances,” Djokovic said. “The season was very draining for me and demanding in every aspect, but I have had similar situations before where I was just super tired, but somehow managed to find the strength and finish the year and finish the season strong. Hopefully that will be the case again.”
In the Paris draw, Djokovic could meet Gael Monfils in the third round, Andrey Rublev in the quarters and then potential Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals. Djokovic is also playing doubles on Monday.
Tsitsipas is projected to face Hubert Hurkacz in his quarter. Also in that section, Andy Murray meets fast-rising qualifier Jenson Brooksby tomorrow.
In the bottom half, Casper Ruud and Alexander Zverev could meet in the quarters with the other quarter pitting Medvedev and Sinner.
Also at stake this week are the final two spots in the ATP Finals in Turin. Ruud and Sinner are in control of their fortunes, but Hurkacz and Cameron Norrie are also in the hunt.
The Top 8 seeds draw byes, with play starting on Monday.
MONDAY PARIS INDOOR SCHEDULE
R64 Marton Fucsovics v Fabio Fognini
R64 10 Cameron Norrie v Federico Delbonis
R32 Alex de Minaur/Luke Saville v (WC) Novak Djokovic/Filip Krajinovic
R64 Adrian Mannarino v Nikoloz Basilashvili
Not Before 7:30 Pm
R64 (WC) Andy Murray v (Q) Jenson Brooksby
R64 Benoit Paire v 12 Pablo Carreno Busta
Court 1 Starts At 11:00 Am
R64 Dusan Lajovic v Mackenzie McDonald
R64 13 Aslan Karatsev v Sebastian Korda
R64 Alexander Bublik v Daniel Evans
R64 (Q) Hugo Gaston v (WC) Arthur Rinderknech
R64 Laslo Djere v (LL) Lorenzo Musetti
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