Can Novak Djokovic Stage a Comeback in 2017?

This year has just been one disaster after another for Novak Djokovic. The returning French Open champion and 12-time Grand Slam winner crashed out in the quarter-finals of this year’s Roland Garros, losing in straight sets to the young Dominic Thiem (6-7, 3-6, 0-6).

Djokovic’s game was riddled with unforced errors and squandered opportunities. He dropped a hard-fought first set, put up little resistance in the second, and was annihilated 6-0 in the third. The defeat marked Djokovic’s first ever loss to the 23-year-old.

This isn’t the first upset at Djokovic’s expense this year. He suffered a second-round loss to 117th-ranked Denis Istomin at the Australian Open, lost twice to Nick Kyrgios in the span of two weeks, and was overwhelmed in straight sets it the Italian Open finals by the 17th-ranked Alexander Zverev.

In fact, the only competition win Djokovic has had this year was the Qatar Open, where he defeated Andy Murray. He’s currently still in second place in the ATP rankings, but that’s all set to change once the French Open is done.

We’ve never seen a slump quite like this from Djokovic. While his contemporaries battled with injuries and dips in form, Djokovic has remarkably remained consistent throughout the years. Now, he’s left demoralized after a slew of disappointing results. Where does he go from here? What does 2017 still have in store for him? Let’s make a few guesses.

2017 Novak Djokovic Odds

Odds to win a Grand Slam in 2017: 7/1

Despite his dip in form, Djokovic remains a favorite for the upcoming Grand Slams. That’s not particularly surprising. After 223 weeks in the number one spot, Djokovic has proved time and time again that he is capable of beating any player in the world.

There’s only two Grand Slams left in the season, though. And Djokovic is showing no signs of improvement. If he fails to pick up either Wimbledon or the US Open, it’ll be his first season since 2010 without a single Grand Slam win.

O/U on title wins in 2017: 2.5

So far, the Qatar Open is Djokovic’s sole title win. That was his first event of the year. Since then, he’s only managed to reach the finals once. We’re only half-way through the season, so there’s still some time to make up for lost ground.

O/U on year-end ATP Ranking: 5.5

Novak Djokovic is still the world number 2, but if we only take the year of 2017 into account, he sits at a measly seventh place. The number 1 and 2 spots are probably going to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer by the end of the year, and Djokovic is almost definitely out of contention for that.

With 1,615 ATP points so far this season, he’s within reach of David Goffin (1,730 points) and Stan Wawrinka (1,940 points), so finishing the year in the top five is still a realistic goal.

Odds to finish above Andy Murray in 2017: 2/1

Andy Murray, the current world number 1, is also having a disappointing year. So far, the newly crowned king only has a Dubai Championship win to his name amid a deluge of early round exits. At least he’s through to the semi-finals of the French Open, though. He’ll face Stan Wawrinka, who he eliminated at Roland Garros last year.

Murray is currently in 13th place in the 2017 points race, but he’ll leapfrog a couple of spots once the French Open is over. If he reaches the finals, he’ll overtake Djokovic in the year-to-date points.

Eaton Thatcher

Eaton used to write for MTS predominantly about boxing but also about soccer, football, tennis and basketball.

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