Nadal Has Shot At No. 1 This Week
Nadal is the top seed at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco. If the Spaniard lifts his third trophy at that ATP 500, he’ll force Djokovic to reach the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to retain World No. 1 on Monday.
Nadal is only defending 45 points this week since he lost in the second round in Acapulco last year. Djokovic, who did not compete this week in 2019, currently leads Nadal by 325 points, giving him a 370-point cushion for the week.
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If Djokovic advances to the quarter-finals in Dubai, he’ll add 90 points, leaving room for Nadal to reclaim top spot if the Spaniard takes the Acapulco title. The Serbian got off to a good start in Dubai with a straight-sets win against Malek Jaziri, putting him two victories away from guaranteeing he will retain World No. 1.
Djokovic next faces German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who defeated him last year in Indian Wells. The top seed could play powerful Russian Karen Khachanov, the seventh seed, in the quarter-finals. Djokovic is 14-0 on the season, and he is a four-time champion in Dubai.
Nadal, the top seed in Acapulco, begins his tournament against countryman Pablo Andujar. He is trying to return to World No. 1 just five weeks after relinquishing his position after the Australian Open, where Djokovic won a record-extending eighth title.
Djokovic has held World No. 1 for 279 weeks, putting him eight weeks from surpassing Sampras on 20 April for second in FedEx ATP Rankings history. That is, unless Nadal takes back top spot.