Novak Djoković is slowly working his way back into form, and judging by his training sessions in Belgrade, he will return to action very soon. The current World no. 1 has started training in Belgrade for the first time after his US Open injury, which kept him sidelined for the past two weeks.
He will decide in the next couple of days whether he will pull out of the Japan Open. So far, things are looking good for the 16-time Grand Slam champion as he was seen practicing with Viktor Troicki on a court in Belgrade. After hitting a variety of shots on the practice courts, he feels optimistic about the recovery from the shoulder injury.
“On Sunday, I have been training for the first time after the US Open, and I didn’t feel any pain in my shoulder, which was encouraging. So far, I feel optimistic about playing in Tokyo, which was my plan all along. The next two days will be crucial for my decision.”
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) September 23, 2019
Djoković is scheduled to play in Japan Open that starts on Monday, September 30, but he may take a few more days to recover from his shoulder issue. “It’s important that my first two training sessions were pain-free. If it keeps up that way on Tuesday, I will decide whether I’m going or not.”
Nole is looking to tie Pete Sampras’ record of six year-end No .1 but is under a lot of pressure from his two biggest rivals. After clinching the US Open titles, Nadal is now only 640 points behind Djoković in the rankings. The Spaniard also has a 1,960 point lead over Djoković in the ATP race to London, a tournament he had never won in his career.
The King of Clay has no more points to defend this season, as he prematurely ended his 2018 season, after withdrawing in the US Open semi-final due to knee injury.
On the other hand, the 32-year old Serb will have to defend 2,600 points from now until the end of the year, after winning the Shanghai Masters title, reaching the final of the Paris Masters, and ATP Finals last year.
Roger Federer is currently more than 2,000 points behind Djoković and Nadal is defending 1,620 points over the coming months. But the Swiss maestro has a realistic chance of finishing second in the standings with a strong run. He will try to narrow the gap at the Shanghai Masters where he lost to Borna Ćorić in the 2018 semi-final. Federer will then try to defend his trophy in Basel before the majestic trio again meet in Paris.
The tennis season’s grand finale concludes at London’s O2 Arena – a tournament previously won by Alexander Zverev.
Last but not least, Djoković and Nadal will team up with their fellow countryman for the Davis Cup finals in Madrid.