Novak Djokovic could face doubles ahead of French Open

Novak Djokovic could face doubles ahead of French Open

Novak Djokovic During A Match

Novak Djokovic will be dethroned as world No. 1 by Carlos Alcaraz after the Italian Open, but his decline in the ATP rankings may not stop there.

Djokovic is preparing to return to action after pulling out of the Madrid Open with an elbow problem, which is set to challenge him as he begins his Italian Open title defense in Rome.

As the Serbian backed up his victory at the Barcelona Open earlier this month, Alcaraz, who won in Madrid last week, is sure to fall from the top of the ATP rankings with the winning machine.

Alcaraz will go into the French Open as the top seed and favorite to take the title with the oddsmakers, quickly racking up the ranking points.

Djokovic will have something to say about that if he finds himself fully qualified to win a 23rd Grand Slam title in Paris, but he may have another slide to ponder in the ATP rankings.

This is because Daniil Medvedev is looking at the second place in the ranking, hoping to continue the improvement on the clay courts.

The Russian star openly admits he doesn’t relish the challenge of playing on red clay, but is starting to find his feet on the ground after some encouraging wins at the Monte-Carlo Masters and a run to the last-16. In Madrid.

As Medvedev didn’t play in Rome last year, he has no ranking points to defend and could feed into his advantage if he puts together a string of impressive wins in the Italian capital.

If Alcaraz wins the Italian Open, he could surpass Djokovic by 2,000 points, while Medvedev could overtake the Serbian by 445 points in the provisional rankings.

Djokovic is in danger of losing his top two spot in the ATP rankings as he is unable to add to his tally at the upcoming event as he defends the 1,000 mark he claimed by winning in Rome a year ago.

He will hope to progress in this tournament and fend off the threat of defeating Medvedev, but if injury affects him or he suffers an early defeat, there could be further change in the ATP rankings.

Djokovic’s drop to No. 3 in the ATP rankings could affect the outcome of future major championships as Alcaraz and Djokovic are in the top half of the bracket and could meet before the final.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal is another sliding-ranked player and could be a last-16 opponent for either Alcaraz or Djokovic at the French Open.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion has seen his provisional ranking drop to 14 as he misses out again at the Rome tournament due to ongoing injury problems, putting his participation at his favorite Grand Slam in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, Djokovic realized his fate after the Italian Open draw and faced a tough challenge.

Djokovic is the top seed and defending champion and will face whoever has taken Banja Luka, Luka van Assche or clay court master Thomas Martin Echeverri to three sets.

The reigning world No. 1 will face Grigor Dimitrov in the round of 32 and the Bulgarian needs a qualifier to get past Stan Wawrinka.

Alcaraz could face a challenge from compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his first match, with Britain’s Dan Evans a possible opponent after the two met in Barcelona earlier this month.

All 32 seeds will enjoy a bye into the second round, but there are still some compelling early matchups.

Read more: Andy Murray of the Rome Masters took a big opening challenge

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