When 2018 started, there were doubts over Novak Djokovic’s passion. The whole tennis world was in awe of the way Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were winning titles at this point in time. Djokovic, on the other hand, struggled with form, confidence and after his early exit during Wimbledon 2017, he announced a break from Tennis and sacked his entire coaching staff which included German great Boris Becker.
The start of the year saw Djokovic slip out of the top 20. However, in spectacular style, just like Federer and Nadal, Djokovic won the Wimbledon and US Open to reclaim his lost glory. Now, with the year ending, Djokovic has become the new World No.1 after Nadal pulled out of the Paris Masters due to injury.
This would be the first time Djokovic would scale the summit since 2016 and it made him the first man since Russia’s Marat Safin in 2000 to start the year outside the top 20 and end it as No.1.
Nadal delays comeback
The Spaniard has not played since pulling out of the US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro with a knee injury. Ahead of the Paris Masters, Nadal spoke in a press conference the reason for his pull-out. “My abdominal muscles haven't felt good for the past few days, especially on serve, doctors recommended that I didn't play. It's been a difficult year for me in terms of injuries, and so I'd prefer to avoid doing anything drastic. It wouldn't have been good for me nor anyone to return to the court knowing that I wouldn't be able to play my best,” Nadal said.
Djokovic secured his 19th consecutive win with a straight sets win over Joao Sousa and irrespective of his progress in Paris, Djokovic will secure the top spot. After the Paris Masters, Djokovic will be aiming to end the season on a high in the year-ending ATP World Championships in London in November.