Novak Djokovic pulled out of his quarterfinal match at Wimbledon 2017 a couple of weeks ago. At the time, he was down a set and a break to Tomas Berdych. Since that time there has been a lot of buzz that Djokovic would miss the US Open and the tournaments prior to the US Open. However, an article at the ATP's website today indicates that he will now miss the entire balance of the 2017 season. Accordingly, Djokovic's ranking will plummet so far that he will in fact drop out of the Top Ten.

Djokovic's undefended ranking points

According to the July 26th article, "Novak Djokovic announced on Wednesday that he will miss the rest of the 2017 Atp World Tour season in order to recover from a right elbow injury." This injury has been persistent and appeared to make its first appearance at Wimbledon 2016 when Djokovic lost to Sam Querrey.

Previously, Djokovic was considered very likely to miss a portion of the season. However, the confirmation that he will miss the whole rest of the season is news. These are the ranking points that Djokovic will not defend due to the fact that he won't be playing:

  • 1000 ranking points from winning the 2016 Rogers Cup
  • 360 ranking points for making the 2016 Shanghai semifinals
  • 180 ranking points for making the 2016 Paris semifinals
  • 1200 ranking points for making the 2016 US Open final
  • 1000 ranking points for making the 2016 ATP World Tour Finals final

All totaled that's 3740 ranking points that Djokovic now has no hope of replacing. When that total is discounted from his current ranking-points total of 6325, his year-end ranking can be calculated with a degree of certainty.

At the end of the 2017 season Djokovic should have 2585 ranking points. That should place him ranked about 13th to 15th on tour.

Years in the top ten will likely end

Ranking projections can be tricky because it's possible for the points to be concentrated at the top or distributed more evenly among a broad array of players.

However, it is very likely that Djokovic will fall out of the top ten with the end of the season. He has otherwise been a fixture in the ATP's top ten since the March 19th, 2007 rankings.

Accordingly, his elbow injury is expected to end a run of over 10 years in the upper echelon of men's tennis. Should he stage a comeback in 2018 then he will target the Australian Open, an event he has enjoyed so much success in over the years.

That said, he does have a title defense in Doha in very early 2018. If he isn't sharp then he might lose even more ranking points before being able to focus on Melbourne Park.

Djokovic's fans will point to Federer's comeback in 2017 as a point of comparison. Federer, after all, shut things down last year after Wimbledon 2016 and then won the Aussie. The Swiss Maestro also has won Wimbledon and other events.

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