Novak Djokovic is having the worst season ever. He went out early at the Australian Open and he only made the quarterfinals at the french open. Those were two Grand Slam tournaments, both of which he won in 2016. Now Djokovic is out of Wimbledon 2017 to Tomas Berdych and the general talk with the Serb is that he is going to miss time in the future.

Djokovic has a bad elbow

Kamakshi Tandon, writing at, headlined recently that Djokovic is considering a "break from tour" due to his on-going elbow injury. The injury has been nagging for the Serb and, if you were to isolate a time when it developed, it would be the 2016 French Open.

It seems that completing the career Grand Slam came at great cost for the Serb. What a "break from tour" will look like isn't clear for Djokovic. However, a regular hard-court schedule from the former World No. 1 should not be expected in the months ahead just due to what he has said about his situation.

What Djokovic's year-end ranking will be is a tricky question. However, when it comes to sliding down the rankings, there's nothing worse than missing time. Depending on how Roger Federer does in the days ahead at Wimbledon, Djokovic will be either the World No. 3 or World No. 4 on Monday. However, when you look at what Djokovic has to defend during the balance of the 2017 season, any kind of significant absence may cost him a top-five year-end ranking.

Djokovic's ranking

Djokovic's current ranking breakdown includes the following significant results from the latter half of 2016:

  • Runnerup at the 2016 US Open (1200 ranking points)
  • Runnerup at the 2016 World Tour Finals (1000 ranking points)
  • Winner at the 2016 Canadian Masters (1000 ranking points)

Djokovic also has some 'loose change' from Shanghai (360) and Paris (180).

All totaled, Djokovic has 3740 ranking points to defend before the end of the season. That amounts to well over half of the points that he currently has banked.

If Djokovic was just to shut down his season, then he would be looking at a ranking of about 14th or so at the end of the year. That might be the smart thing to do, noting that Federer shut down his 2016 season after Wimbledon.

Given the Swiss Maestro's success in 2017, a strategic retreat is by no means without potential rewards.

However, if Djokovic is part-in and part-out in the months, ahead then he should defend a portion of the ranking points he has to defend for the balance of the season. However, if he loses 1800 to 2000 ranking points from here until the end of the year, then Djokovic can expect a year-end ranking of about 6th or 7th.

That is in agreement with his year-to-date ranking. Currently, Djokovic is the 6th-best player in terms of results in 2017. He is behind all of Rafael Nadal, Federer, Dominic Thiem, Stan Wawrinka, and Alexander Zverev at this point. Much hinges on his decision regarding time off. But the smartest thing to do, might be to just let his injury heal and try to return in 2018 at 100% health.