Novak Djokovic will not defend his Paris Masters title in November, and his reason is calculated.
Djokovic is bidding to retain the world's No. 1 spot at the end of the season. He will receive no points should he win, while skipping the event entirely will not cost him, either. With respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ATP Tour's revised ranking system allows players to retain points from last year.
"I won't play in Paris as I can't add to my points tally, but I will go to Vienna and London," the 33-year-old Serb told the Belgrade daily Sportski Zurnal on Wednesday.
"I can win up to 500 points in Vienna as I didn't play there last year and there are also a lot of points available in London."
The Erste Bank Open in Vienna is scheduled for next week. The Paris Masters opens Nov. 2, and the Nitto ATP Finals are set to begin Nov. 15 in London. Only the top eight men are invited to the season-ending London tournament.
Djokovic clinched his 36th ATP Masters title after winning the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome last month. His total surpassed Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who will enter the upcoming Paris Masters.
Djokovic rejected the notion of being concerned that Nadal conceivably could pull even with him again in wins at the Paris Masters.
"It's not my priority," Djokovic said. "My immediate task is to collect as many points as I can in a bid to put as much distance between myself and the chasing pack ahead of next season.
"I want to go down in history as the world No. 1 with the most weeks at the top of the ATP Tour, and I will do all I can to make it happen."
He continued: "Whether Nadal plays in Paris or not changes nothing because it's all in my hands."
--Field Level Media