Tennis

Rafael Nadal could lose No.1 spot to Djokovic in Madrid

Nadal is out of form (©GettyImages)
Nadal is out of form (©GettyImages).

It could be all-change at the top of the ATP world rankings next week as Novak Djokovic has the chance to leapfrog Rafael Nadal to the the world no.1 spot.

The Madrid Open kicks-off on Sunday and Djokovic has the chance to gain enough ranking points to usurp his rival.

In the eventuality of Nadal departing before the quarter-finals, his Serbian counterpart can return the top of the world by winning the Masters 1000 event.

The current world no.1 will feel confident about retaining his lofty position though. Not only is he the defending champion, he is also a three-time winner on the clay and he will be roared on once more by the Spanish fans in his home country.

However, recently, his 'King of Clay' reputation has been hanging loosely and it has left him in this position of potentially losing top spot with the French Open and Wimbledon on the horizon.

Shock defeats in quarter-finals against compatriots David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro at the Monte Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open respectively have cast doubts on Nadal's clay domination. 

Both Monte Carlo and Barcelona had previously been strongholds for the 27-year-old who had romped to eight titles, at each, in the past.

In comparison, Djokovic had been in stellar form until a troublesome wrist injury went some way to securing his exit in the semi-finals at Monte Carlo.

Before that, the 26-year-old won successive Masters titles on the American hard courts of Indian Wells and Miami, the latter came courtesy of a straight-sets win over Nadal.

There were some concerns that the Serb's wrist injury may keep him out for a significant timescale, but these fears have been quashed and he will return to the event that he won back in 2011.

In the rankings battle, Nadal has been the world's best ever since October 2013. This is his third spell as number one having previously held the position back in 2008 and again in 2010. 

Djokovic, meanwhile, has been off-top since Nadal jumped him in October and he will also be hoping for a third stint as no.1. 

The Nadal-Djokovic rivalry is one of the most eagerly anticipated on the ATP tour and this is just the latest installment of action.

The Spaniard leads their head-to-head record after 40 matches having won 22 of them, despite losing their last three encounters. Between them, the pair have an impressive 19 Grand Slam titles between them. Although Nadal leads the way with 13.

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Topics:
Tennis
Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal

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