After sitting out almost the entire first quarter of the 2022 season, Novak Djokovic is set to feature consistently in the coming months. With many countries announcing an end to vaccine mandates and allowing close-to-unobstructed entry for unvaccinated tourists, tennis fans can look forward to the Serb dominating the men's circuit once again.
The ATP calendar for April has seven tournaments -- one Masters 1000 event, one ATP 500 event and five ATP 250 events. The first two, the US Men's Clay Court Championships and the Grand Prix Hassan II (April 4-10), will both miss out on the World No. 1's participation.
Instead, the Serb will go straight to the Monte-Carlo Masters (April 10-17), where he will likely be joined by six other top-10 players. Rafael Nadal (rib fracture) and Daniil Medvedev (hernia surgery) are the only players who have been confirmed to skip the tournament so far, while Matteo Berrettini (hand surgery) is likely to opt out as well.
Even with a slightly depleted line-up, the 20-time Grand Slam champion is expected to face strong resistance. In addition to the up-and-coming Carlos Alcaraz, who is becoming more of a threat to the veterans of the tour with each passing day, the 34-year-old will also face a familiar foe in the form of Stan Wawrinka.
The Swiss has been handed a wildcard for the event along with another warrior from the past -- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Djokovic is a two-time champion at the Monte-Carlo Masters, having won the 2013 and 2015 editions.
Following his stint on the French Riviera, the World No. 1 will compete in the Serbia Open (April 18-24), which will take place at the same time as the Barcelona Open. The Serb is therefore likely to face a weakened field, with top players likely to play at the more lucrative ATP 500 event in Spain.
In Belgrade, the stars who are confirmed to appear alongside Djokovic at the moment are Gael Monfils, Cristian Garin, Karen Khachanov and Dominic Thiem. Meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Jannik Sinner, Hubert Hurkacz and Alcaraz are all slated to play in Barcelona.
Djokovic is a two-time winner at the Serbia Open as well, winning the 2009 and 2011 editions. The BMW Open in Munich and the Estoril Open (April 25 - May 1) are also slated to take place this month, but the 20-time Grand Slam champion is not likely to appear in either.
Novak Djokovic is defending 225 ranking points in April 2022
Novak Djokovic will be defending a total of 225 points in April, 180 of which are from the Monte-Carlo Masters and Serbia Open. The Serb will drop 45 points from the Miami Open (fourth round in 2019) on Monday.
At the Monte-Carlo Masters, the World No. 1 is defending 90 points, thanks to his run to the quarterfinals in the 2019 edition. He is also defending 90 points at the Serbia Open, courtesy of his semi-final exit from the 2021 edition.
With Daniil Medvedev not in action for all of April (losing 180 points from Monte-Carlo and 150 points from Barcelona), Djokovic is mathematically guaranteed to remain World No. 1 and has a very good chance of extending his lead over the Russian this month.