Djokovic's Bid: Win Eighth Australian Open Title & Return To No. 1
Nadal's loss in Melbourne opens possibility of Serbian's return
The prospect of a change next week at the summit of men’s professional tennis came about on Wednesday after current World No. 1 Rafael Nadal lost to Dominic Thiem 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(6) in the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park.
Should Djokovic beat Thiem in Sunday’s final, the Serbian star will begin his fifth stint — and 276th week — in the top spot on 3 February.
Djokovic could then strengthen his hold with just 135 points to defend at March’s two ATP Masters 1000 events: the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (90 points) and the Miami Open presented by Itau (45).
Djokovic, who relinquished the No. 1 ranking to Nadal on 4 November last year, is third in the list of most weeks at No. 1, behind only Pete Sampras (286 weeks) and record-holder Roger Federer (310 weeks). With an unbroken run in the top spot, starting on Monday, Djokovic would surpass six-time year-end No. 1 Sampras’ tally on 20 April and break Federer’s mark on 5 October 2020.