Novak Djokovic could miss out on French Open seeding

Published by Leigh Rogers

UNDER PRESSURE: Novak Djokovic during his second-round loss in Madrid to Brit Kyle Edmund; Getty Images
Novak Djokovic’s form is not the only thing he needs to worry about – his ranking and chances of a French Open seeding are slipping with every loss.

Novak Djokovic is in danger of being unseeded at the French Open for the first time in 12 years following his second-round exit at the Madrid Open.

The 30-year-old is currently ranked No.12, but after failing to match last year’s semifinal run is projected to drop to at least No.18 next week. It will be the Serb’s lowest ranking since October 2006.

Of more concern for the former world No.1 and 12-time Grand Slam champion, he is also defending 600 ranking points at next week’s ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome.

When these runner-up points are removed, Djokovic’s ranking is set to fall just outside the world’s top 30. Another early exit next week would put the Roland Garros 2016 champion on the cusp of missing a seeding at the 2018 tournament.

French Open seedings will be based on ATP rankings after the Rome tournament, adding to the mounting pressure on Djokovic to recapture his form quickly.

DJOKOVIC: ‘I need to pray my game gets better’

Djokovic was last unseeded at a Grand Slam tournament at Wimbledon 2006, when he was a No.39-ranked 19-year-old. He has been a top-six seed in 11 consecutive French Opens.

Djokovic’s Grand Slam seeding history
2005 N/S N/S N/S N/S
2006 N/S N/S N/S 20
2007 14 6 4 3
2008 3 3 3 3
2009 3 4 4 4
2010 3 3 3 3
2011 3 2 2 1
2012 1 1 1 2
2013 1 1 1 1
2014 2 2 1 1
2015 1 1 1 1
2016 1 1 1 1
2017 2 2 2 DNP
2018 14 ? ? ?

N/S = Not seeded, DNP = Did not play

Djokovic made the quarterfinals as the No.2 seed at last year’s Roland Garros.

Being unseeded in 2018 increases the risk of facing top-ranked players in earlier rounds – and with lots of points to defend in Paris, he needs to win a few rounds or else his ranking could tumble outside the world’s top 50 for the first time in 12 years.

“I’ve played this sport so many years and had a bunch of success. I try to always remind myself and be grateful for that,” Djokovic told after Thursday’s loss to Kyle Edmund.

“At the same time, nobody is forcing me to play this sport. I do it because I like it. I want to do it. And that’s something also that makes me fortunate to play the sport.

“So that’s where I draw my strength. And as long as I keep going, as long as I love the sport, I’ll keep going. And that’s all it is.”

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