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After the quarterfinal match in the 2020 Vienna Open between World No.1 Novak Djokovic and unseeded Lorenzo Sonego, Instagram and Twitter have been flooded with the comments like, "Novak let Lorenzo win" and many more on the same terms. One comment caught my attention which is "He just entered the tournament to stay on Rank 1 and he would better save his energy for Nitto ATP Finals (which is scheduled later this year in London)". However, Novak himself commented that Sonego had outplayed him yesterday.

Why did he need to enter this current tournament in Vienna to save his position? He could have done without it, I mean he lost, so his points will be somewhat deducted, won't it be? So why come and lose, when you can entirely sit and relax and prepare for upcoming matches?

  • @Joe Thank You for the edit. It was very kind of you. However I must say, I have not read the article you linked, so is it absolutely necessary to link it? Usually on other SE sites, users aren't allowed to do heavy changes unless the questioner actually asked for it(the link I am talking about). No offense meant, I just wanted to know the reason for the same. – Dhanishtha Ghosh Nov 1 at 15:56
  • @Joe Also I wanted to know about editing the word "currently", I mean Lorenzo is unseeded as of now, won't be forever so. – Dhanishtha Ghosh Nov 1 at 15:57
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    I link it just to make clear what the event is, for when people later come to the question and don’t remember this. If you have a better one please feel free to change it. – Joe Nov 1 at 15:57
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    'Currently" is whenever the reader gets to the question. Specific dates and event names are crucial, especially for things that happen regularly or repeatedly, even if they haven't yet been repeated, because what is current now won't be current forever. – Nij Nov 3 at 3:42
  • @Nij I see.I didn't think it that way. Thanks for the clarification. – Dhanishtha Ghosh Nov 3 at 6:34
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Novak reached the quarterfinals of the Vienna Open, meaning he will receive 90 points, giving him 11,830 for the year - Nadal's 9850 in second place being 1,980 points behind. Reaching the quarterfinal was necessary to clinch first place; once he had done so, any extra points were essentially meaningless.

From this article on the clinching:

Nadal can only pick up a maximum number of 2,140 points if he wins both Paris and the Nitto ATP Finals in London

And as is further explained in the article, as they both played in the ATP Finals last year, Nadal will "lose" 400 points when he plays in it this year, while Djokovic will "lose" 200 points (as he finished one round earlier than Nadal), meaning Nadal is effectively 2,180 points behind; he can only pick up 2,140 points at this point, and thus cannot win (unless he plays another tournament, which is thought unlikely - also discussed in the above article).


Further, Djokovic also said that he "did not feel like playing too much", as noted in this article, as a major figure in the Serbian Orthodox Church passed away on Friday (Amfilohije Radovic). It's possible this is simply explaining away his apparent lack of effort, or a legitimate reason to not have full focus in a game he certainly would have been expected to win.

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