A year ago, everything was amazing for Novak Djokovic. He was the World #1, holding all four Slams, and seemingly in with a real chance of accomplishing the rare calendar year Grand Slam or maybe even the Golden Slam. 12 months later things are alarmingly very different, with his last four Grand Slams featuring no wins and only one trip beyond the quarter-finals.
Regardless of his poor run of form since completing the career Grand Slam here at Roland Garros last year, up until this year’s tournament he’s managed to only drop one place in the rankings–from #1 to #2, with Britain’s Andy Murray taking up the top spot for the first time in his career late last year.
However, with the Serbian’s Roland Garros points from last year coming off this week, Djokovic finds himself in a strange position a lot of tennis fans may not remember. Since early March 2011, Novak Djokovic has always been part of the world’s top two, with Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Andy Murray all occupying the other spot at different points in time.
From an incredible 16,950 points this time last year, the former World #1 will only have 5805 next Monday, a decrease of over 11,000 points. Due to this, whatever Rafael Nadal does for the remainder of the tournament will not matter as the Spaniard is guaranteed to overtake the Serbian. To only make matters worse, if Stan Wawrinka makes the final here the Serbian will not only drop to third in the rankings but to fourth. Wawrinka has already won his quarterfinal match, so the Swiss is only one win away from jumping Djokovic as well.
There is some good news, however, which is that due to the seeding formula Wimbledon uses, the Serbian is likely to get a top top two seed at The Championships, which would allow him to avoid defending champion Andy Murray before the final. The bad news, however, is that in this form it’s questionable if he will be able to improve on last year’s shock round three exit.
With another early loss at Wimbledon, and depending on other results there and at Roland Garros, it’s also possible for the 12-time Grand Slam champion to come out of Wimbledon ranked outside the world’s Top 5 for the first time in over ten years.
To make matters worse, right after Wimbledon he’s also defending the Rogers Cup in Canada, the only Masters (or Grand Slam) tournament he currently holds. Without a good showing at Wimbledon or there at the very least his ranking is only going to keep on dropping, and who knows what it will be come the end of the year. He needs a big turnaround, and fast.
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