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Rafael Nadal will replace Novak Djokovic as the world No. 1 next month, regardless of what happens to both men at the Rolex Paris Masters, which begins on Monday.
But the battle to see who ends the year as the world No. 1 could go right down to the wire at the Nitto ATP Finals in London in November.
Djokovic, who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year to take his grand slam tally to 17, leads Nadal by 320 points going into Paris, a tournament he has won four times.
But while Nadal has no points to defend for the rest of the year, the 600 points Djokovic earned for reaching the final in Paris in 2018 and the 1,000 he earned for making the London final, are all due to come off the computer on November 4.
That means that, effectively, Djokovic will trail Nadal by 1,280 points going into Paris, where the winner will take 1,000 points.
With a maximum of 1,500 points on offer in London to a winner who is also undefeated in the group stages – Nadal, who won a record 12th French Open and the US Open this year to move on to 19 grand slam titles, holds the upper hand.
But while Nadal has never won in Paris or London, Djokovic has lifted the title in London five times.
I’m a multi-media sports business writer and journalist, who has worked for the world’s biggest media companies, including the Daily Telegraph, the BBC, De Telegraaf and…