With just one more tournament remaining following the Paris Masters, Novak Djokovic is in a tough spot to unseat Rafael Nadal as world No. 1 on the ATP Tour.
Djokovic entered the Paris Masters 550 points shy of Nadal for top spot in the rankings, and there’s no chance for the man they call "The Joker" to catch Rafa.
Nadal has been superb this season, winning two Grand Slam titles and appearing in nine straight finals to start his season. He’s shown no sign of slowing down either.
Djokovic, on the other hand, won just five singles titles this season and has a 62-9 record, his lowest win total since 2010.
What makes Nadal’s season even more spectacular is he’s done it all after a seven-month layoff recovering from a knee injury. His solid season has him in the running for the ATP World Tour Comeback Player of the Year.
Even if Djokovic were to win out, Nadal can still hang on to his ranking with high finishes.
Both players are currently in the third round in France. Nadal will face 14th-ranked Jerzy Janowicz, while Djokovic has No. 13 John Isner to contend with.
The final event of the season, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, will take place Nov. 4–11 at London’s O2 Arena.
Will Novak Djokovic catch Rafael Nadal in the rankings?
Nadal started the season off slow, having to bow out of the Australian Open due to a stomach virus. Since June, when he was in the fifth spot, Nadal has been on a steady climb up the rankings.
It started at the French Open when he defeated fellow Spaniard David Ferrer. It was his eighth career win at Roland Garros.
The 27-year-old then found another gear in August, as he won three of four tournaments.
Nadal defeated Canadian Milos Raonic at the Rogers Cup event in Montreal the first week of August.
The following week, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Nadal took care of Isner in straight sets at the Western and Southern Open.
Three weeks later, at the final Grand Slam of the season, Nadal dispatched then-No.1 Djokovic, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to win the U.S. Open in Flushing, N.Y., his second majors victory of the season.
Nadal has won a record-tying five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles this season and will be No. 1 once the dust settles in London.