Djokovic could be world No 1 next week
Tuesday 10 May 2011
The changing of the guard, which has been anticipated ever since Novak Djokovic embarked on his extraordinary unbeaten run, could take place as early as next weekend. If he wins his seventh tournament in succession here at the Rome Masters and Rafael Nadal fails to make the semi-finals, the 23-year-old Serb will replace the 24-year-old Spaniard as world No 1 next Monday.
Until Nadal lost to Djokovic in Sunday's final of the Madrid Masters the current world No 1 was still the undisputed king of clay, having not lost on his favourite surface for nearly two years. Now, however, he will go into the French Open in 12 days' time as less of a clear-cut favourite.
Having won on hard courts in Melbourne, Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami, Djokovic has put himself within touching distance of the No 1 ranking by winning his first two clay-court tournaments of the year.
"If I keep winning I'll get closer, but I'm trying not to think about that," Djokovic said, having extended his unbeaten run to 34 matches. "It was a perfect start with the two tournaments that I won and I need to stay dedicated and focused."
Nadal, who had beaten Djokovic in all nine of their previous meetings on clay, said the battle to keep his No 1 ranking was "finished". Djokovic could even take over at the top if his rival successfully defends his titles here and at Roland Garros.
Andy Roddick is among those astonished by what Djokovic is doing. "It's unbelievable. In his head he's in a perfect place right now," he said.
William Carvalho to Arsenal? Gunners make new enquiry for £35m rated midfielder
Manchester United transfer news: More signings expected, indicates Ed Woodward
CM Punk 'never ever ever' going to return to WWE (so he probably will)
Manchester United transfer news: Completed summer deals
James Rodriguez joins Real Madrid: World Cup star completes £63m move
- 1 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains