Photo: Nadal Madrid Masters
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal got in an initial practice session Thursday ahead of next week’s Madrid Masters, where Serbia’s Novak Djokovic has an outside chance of wresting the No. 1 ranking away from the slumping Spaniard.
The second-ranked Serbian will take back the top spot he relinquished in October 2013 if he wins that clay-court title and Nadal loses before the quarterfinals, according to the ATP World Tour.
Djokovic can make up significant ground on Nadal, the defending champion in Madrid, because he has far fewer ranking points to defend after losing last year in the round of 32.
The 27-year-old Nadal has tallied a total of 132 weeks at No. 1 during his career, which puts him in sixth place all time.
Swiss great Roger Federer, 32, holds the record in this category, which dates back to August 1973, with 302 weeks in the top spot.
The 26-year-old Djokovic, who has had two previous stints as the world’s highest-ranked player, has compiled 101 weeks at No. 1 during his career.
Nadal lost in the quarterfinals of last month’s Monte Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open events, two clay-court tournaments he has dominated over the last 10 years.
He therefore is looking to regain some confidence on his favorite surface prior to the start of tennis’ premier clay-court tournament, the French Open, which gets underway on May 25.