Roma Masters: This is the fight between Djokovic and Nadal for the number 1 ATP

Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal meet again in a tournament at the Masters 1,000 almost eight months after doing so at the Australian Open, where they did not cross after Nadal's elimination against Thiem in the quarterfinals and where Djokovic was proclaimed champion.

The presence of Nadal and Djokovic in Rome once again highlights the battle that both have for the number one in the ATP ranking, with Roger Federer absent due to injury until 2021 and with the threat of Dominic Thiem after the Austrian's triumph at the US Open.

Djokovic arrives in Rome with 10,860 points after winning 1,000 points as champion in Cincinnati (to which we must subtract the 360 ​​points that he defended), and not adding any at the US Open after being disqualified for hitting a linesman in his round of 16 match against Pablo Carreño, although he did retain the 180 of the round of 16 of 2019, when he retired against Wawrinka, after the modification of the ranking rules for the coronavirus pandemic. In this way Djokovic extended his advantage by 640 points to 1,010 that he has over Rafa Nadal today.

At the 1000 Masters in Rome Novak Djokovic defends 600 points as a 2019 finalist and that he already has insured after the tournament, although it could add 400 more if champion is proclaimed in the Foro Italico. In this way Djokovic could extend his advantage in the ranking with Rafa Nadal to 1,410 points advantage before Roland Garros, where the Serbian could add another 1,280 points if he is proclaimed champion.

For his part, Rafa Nadal arrives in Rome with 9,850 points, the same as he had before the break of the season due to the coronavirus. The Balearic has not added anything since the 500 points he achieved after being champion in Acapulco, the last tournament he competed in, since He did not attend the 1,000 Masters in Cincinnati and the US Open, where he did retain the 2,000 champion points of the 2019 edition after the change in the ranking regulations.

In Rome Nadal will have to play 'defensively' in the battle for the ranking. The one from Manacor defends 1,000 as champion, that will retain after the modification of the ranking rules, but He will not be able to score more points for this reason, so he will have to prevent Djokovic from winning the title or else the Serbian will distance himself even further in the standings before Roland Garros. Another incentive for the manacorí is the possibility of reaching double digits as champion of the Roman tournament, a feat that the Balearic Islands already have in other tournaments such as the Monte Carlo Masters 1,000 (11 titles), Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (11 titles) or Roland Garros (12 titles). If he wins, it would also break the tie at 35 Masters 1,000 trophies he now has with Djokovic since he won the Western & Southern Open.