World No. 2 Novak Djokovic’s victory last week at the Internazional BNL d’Italia was a crucial one for his chances to win regain the No. 1 ranking.
Rafael Nadal worked his way back up the rankings in an inspirational 2013, after he had suffered a knee injury that forced him onto the sidelines for the majority of the 2012 season. Key victories at the French Open and the U.S Open, as well as five Masters 1000 titles helped him usurp the No. 1 ranking from Djokovic in October, and he has held it ever since.
While that may be the case, Djokovic could potentially surpass his Spanish nemesis should he perform well in next week’s French Open tournament. Nadal is now in a position where he is required to win the title at Roland Garros if he is to maintain his spot atop the rankings mountain. At the very least, Nadal can afford a semi-final loss as long as Djokovic loses in the second round of the tournament. IF Nadal loses before the semi-finals then the position is guaranteed to switch back to Djokovic.
Should the two meet in the tournament final in June, the No. 1 spot will be determined with the winner.
Djokovic has worked hard to put himself back in a position where he can regain his No. 1 ranking. The Serb won back-to-back Masters title in March before adding to it a 19th Masters 1000 crown in Rome. This aligned him with Nadal, who is defending the title at the French Open this year.
The 2014 French Open takes place between May 25 – June 8 at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France.