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Sunday, June 9, 2024

Slam legend on why Novak Djokovic stays the most effective regardless of Jannik Sinner being No. 1

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Former seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander acknowledges Jannik Sinner has been “distinctive” during the last a number of months however believes that Novak Djokovic continues to be “the most effective participant on the planet” in his eyes regardless of dropping the highest rating to the Italian. 

After ending his 2023 season on a excessive notice, Sinner additionally grew to become a Grand Slam champion at this yr’s Australian Open and likewise gained the Indian Wells Masters and Rotterdam. 

On the opposite facet, Djokovic did not defend his Australian Open title after dropping to Sinner within the semifinal and he nonetheless hasn’t gained a title in 2024. 

As a consequence of Sinner’s very robust begin to 2024 and Djokovic’s inconsistent first a part of 2024, the 22-year-old Italian entered the French Open with likelihood of changing the Serb on the world No. 1 spot. And after Sinner made the French Open quarterfinal and defending champion Djokovic withdrew injured from his quarterfinal match, the Italian formally secured the highest rating from Monday. 

Whereas Sinner has undoubtedly had a significantly better season than Djokovic, Wilander continues to be not able to proclaim as the very best because the Serb made a deep French Open run which ended on account of an harm and never due to a loss.

“I do know very nicely that Sinner has simply had an distinctive first a part of the season and that the pc just isn’t mendacity,” Wilander informed L’Equipe.

“However I additionally don’t overlook that Novak stays the defending champion on the US Open and the Masters (ATP Finals), and that he was a finalist at Wimbledon a yr in the past. So long as he’s there, for me, he stays the most effective.

“And we noticed in his finish of the match towards Cerundolo that, even injured, when he goes into ‘Djoko mode’, he’s virtually unbeatable. In reality, he fell to second place on the planet on account of a well being drawback. Not on a defeat.”

Jannik Sinner and Novak Djokovic
Jannik Sinner and Novak Djokovic © Getty Photographs Sport – Julian Finney

 

How Sinner reacted to changing Djokovic on the world No. 1 spot?

Earlier than the French Open began, there have been a number of eventualities during which Sinner might have changed Djokovic from the No. 1 spot. Two potential eventualities have been – if Djokovic gained the French Open, Sinner wanted a runner-up end – if Djokovic completed as runner-up, a semifinal could be sufficient for Sinner. However after Djokovic’s French Open run ended within the quarterfinal and he dropped a big variety of factors, the No. 1 case was closed. 

After beating Grigor Dimitrov within the French Open quarterfinal and requested about being the brand new No. 1, Sinner acknowledged it was his dream but in addition wished a speedy restoration to Djokovic, who had an arthroscopic knee process in Paris. 

“What can I say? To start with it’s each participant’s dream to develop into No. 1 on the planet. Within the different means, seeing Novak retiring right here I feel is disappointing. I want him a speedy restoration,” Sinner mentioned after securing the world No. 1 place. 

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Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner © Getty Photographs Sport – Tim Goode

 

For Sinner, this implies he’s persevering with his rating rise. After beginning the 2023 season ranked at No. 4, Sinner improved to No. 3 in February earlier than ascending to No. 2 on April 1st. Now, Sinner is the top-ranked participant on the planet.

What Djokovic mentioned after having knee surgical procedure?

A day after withdrawing from his French Open quarterfinal versus Casper Ruud, Djokovic had a process to handle his proper meniscus tear. On Thursday – a day after the surgical procedure – Djokovic broke the silence on his surgical procedure and launched a press release by way of his social media.

“Up to now day, I needed to make some powerful selections after sustaining a meniscus tear throughout my final match. I’m nonetheless processing all of it however I’m pleased to replace you that the surgical procedure went nicely,” Djokovic introduced on Instagram on Thursday.

“I’m so appreciative of the crew of docs who’ve been by my facet, in addition to the overwhelming assist I’ve acquired from my followers.

“I’m going to do my greatest to be wholesome and match to return to the court docket as quickly as potential.

“My love for this sport is robust and the need to compete on the highest degree is what retains me going.”

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic © Getty Photographs Sport – Clive Brunskill

 

Whereas the preliminary information has been fairly encouraging and that Djokovic may want three weeks to get better, the overall perception is that the 24-time Grand Slam champion will not rush his comeback for Wimbledon as a result of the grass is among the most difficult surfaces to play on. 

Additionally, the truth that Djokovic’s badly desires an Olympic gold is an enormous purpose why many consider the Serb will give himself time to get better after which begin working towards on clay once more for the Paris Olympics, which begin on July twenty sixth.

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