Everyone's well aware that Novak Djokovic is playing excellent tennis these days. A closer look shows that he's riding a 19-match win streak that dates back to August 9 (not counting a deciding tiebreaker loss at the Laver Cup).
Since a surprising loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto, the Serbian has won three titles in a row, in Cincinnati, the US Open and Shanghai. Not only that, but since losing a disappointing encounter with Marco Cecchinato in the Roland Garros quarterfinals, the world No. 2 has put together a 33-2 record, and has won 28 of his last 29 matches. That includes his win over Joao Sousa in his opener in Paris on Tuesday.
It seems almost unimaginable given the player he was when he bowed out of the first round in both Indian Wells and Miami.
"When I had the surgery, obviously after that I thought I'd get back on the desired level quite quickly but I [didn't]," Djokovic said in Paris. "I experienced quite a low point in terms of me and my quality of tennis in Indian Wells and Miami. Then I understood it's going to be a process and take time."
In April, he rehired his fitness coach and old tennis coach, Marian Vajda.
"The peak was supposed to arrive around US Open time and it arrived before," Djokovic said. "We are very pleased with what was achieved in the last four, five months."
Going into Paris, Djokovic was just 215 points behind Rafael Nadal. With Nadal withdrawing with an abdominal strain on Wednesday, Djokovic will return to No. 1 on Monday. It's the first time since Marat Safin in 2000 that a player has started the season outside of the Top 20 and reached No. 1.
"I do think I'm playing at my best at the moment," Djokovic said. "I always feel like I can improve but I feel like this is a high level."
Djokovic plays Damir Dzumhur on Thursday.
This Week on Tennis Channel PLUS:
ATP Paris (Mon - Sun 10.29 - 11.4)
- Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic headline the ATP Rolex Paris Masters. Watch live coverage from three courts on Tennis Channel PLUS beginning Monday 10/29 at 6:00 AM EST.
WTA Zhuhai (Mon - Sun 10.29 - 11.4)
- Tennis Channel PLUS has live action of Zhuhai starting Tuesday 10/30 at 12:30 AM EST
USTA Tyler (Tue - Sun 10.30 - 11.4)
-Tennis Channel PLUS features live competition and on-demand coverage of every WTA match from USTA Tyler beginning Tuesday 10/30 11:00 AM EST