Novak Djokovic will finish the season in the top eight after he settled the debate over his ATP Finals eligibility in typically brilliant fashion.
Djokovic was actually eligible for Turin from the second he won Wimbledon, with ATP rules stating Grand Slam champions were automatic qualifiers for the end-of-season showpiece.
That had angered some players, with Monica Puig saying the rule was ‘confusing.’
“I’m a bit confused as to tennis news | read today,” Puig said earlier this week. “So Djokovic qualified for the ATP Finals in Turin because he won Wimbledon (even though no raking points were awarded) but, [Elena] Rybakina couldn’t qualify for the WTA Finals also being a Wimbledon champion this year because no points were awarded.”
In reality, though, the source of Puig’s confusion was that the WTA and ATP have different rules on the matter – a fact she later acknowledged.
It still didn’t stop the debate, though, with others asking why Djokovic should qualify on the basis of Wimbledon when players such as Taylor Fritz and Nick Kyrgios were unable to use the ranking points they would have won at Wimbledon to strengthen their own bids for Turin.
However, that is also now a moot point after Djokovic beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-0, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Paris Masters to earn himself enough points to qualify for Turin regardless of his Wimbledon title.
What is truly impressive about it, though, is how Djokovic has been able to achieve that despite not being allowed to play in a number of high-ranking tournaments this season.
He was denied entry to Australia, the US and Canada, meaning he was not allowed to compete for two Grand Slams and four Masters – tournaments for which a maximum of 8,000 ranking points were available.
Furthermore, even though Djokovic won Wimbledon, the tournament did not award ranking points this year, costing him another 2,000.
You have to say that Djokovic has certainly made his critics on the matter look a little silly, because to finish in the top eight players in the world while being denied the chance to compete for 10,000 ranking points over the course of the season is a special achievement.