October 31, 2018
So the journey is complete. Djokovic will return to world number one on Monday.
For a man who has done so much so quickly, it is ironic that he is back on top partly due to what someone else hasn’t done.
It was Rafael Nadal’s inability to compete in Paris on Wednesday due to an abdominal strain that caused Djokovic to be proclaimed king of tennis once more.
But no one can say that Novak doesn’t deserve it.
He simply has to wait a few days for the recognition to become official.
Earlier this year Djokovic broke new ground. He became the first man to win all nine Masters 1000 titles.
Now he has broken another record. No man had ever stormed to the top from the relatively lowly position of world number 22. Not in the same season. Not in the space of four months.
Only the incredible Novak has achieved this. And we thought Roger Federer’s amazing comeback at the start of 2017 could never be matched!
Given Roger’s age at the time, some might argue it never will be.
But men’s tennis never stops giving us these delicious surprises.
And all we can do is admire the resurgence of a man who is pretty much the perfect tennis player.
Novak is used to being world number one. He has spent a total of 223 weeks there already in his career.
Few expected him to add to that total when his wrist wouldn’t heal and his personal life seemed to be hurting him even more.
But we all know what happened. He climbed a mountain in France, sat at the top with his wife Jelena and suddenly saw everything clearly.
So it is fitting that today we have heard that events in the same country, France, have propelled Novak Djokovic back to world number one.
He holds the Wimbledon and US Open titles at present.
Who is to say he won’t win the Australian Open and the French too, especially if Nadal continues to struggle with injuries?
He has held all four Grand Slams before. But he has never come from nowhere to rule the world before. Not so quickly like this.
It is hard to imagine how Novak is feeling tonight. But the emotion must be so, so sweet after what he has been through and how low he had sunk.
Congratulations Novak Djokovic. Roger Federer may have been Comeback King of 2017. But you, Novak are most definitely Comeback King of 2018.
Long may your superb tennis continue.
By Mark Ryan for WDH
Image supplied by Katrina Allen