Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal (L) is currently 2,315 points ahead of Novak Djokovic in the ATP rankings. In this picture, Nadal (L) and Djokovic smile during an exhibition game during 'Kids Day' on The Philippe Chatrier Court in Paris on May 26, 2018, on the eve of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament. CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images

Two years after losing his number one ranking to Andy Murray and after more than six months on the sidelines with injury, Novak Djokovic is back in contention to finish the year as the world’s top ranked player in 2018.

Rafael Nadal is currently the world number one and is in the driving seat going into the final months of the 2018 season. The Spaniard, who ended 2017 as the top ranked player, has lost just four times this season and has picked up five titles along the way to maintain his position at the top.

Roger Federer is the third challenger for the number one spot with the Swiss currently in second place just ahead of Djokovic, but well behind Nadal at the top of the rankings. He came close last season and took over the number one ranking on two occasions earlier this year, but his poor form since Wimbledon in July has seen him lose ground to his long-time rival.

Nadal is currently atop the ATP Tour men’s singles ranking with 8,760 points and he is 1,860 points ahead of Federer. Djokovic is ranked number three in the world, but is just 455 points behind the Swiss ace in second place.

The Spaniard and Federer have been the top two ranked players since midway through the 2017 campaign, but Djokovic has made his way up the rankings after falling outside the top 20 after missing the second half of the 2017 campaign and few months earlier this year due to an elbow injury.

After initially struggling to recapture his form following his return from injury, the Serbian has gone from strength to strength in recent months. Djokovic started his comeback by winning his 13th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in July.

The Serb then followed it up with a title at the Cincinnati Masters, which brought him up to number six in the world. Djokovic was not done, he added his 14h major title in New York earlier this month to make his way to number three on the ATP men’s singles rankings.

Nadal still has the advantage going into the final months of the 2018 campaign as he has built a sizeable gap to the chasing pack. The Spaniard has 1,280 points to defend until the end of the season, but he also has opportunities to gain points at the Paris Masters and the ATP Finals in London, where he did not fare well last season.

Federer is number two in the rankings, but is an outsider in the race owing to the big gap to Nadal and the fact that he has to defend 2100 points from now until the end of the season. It is almost certain he will be passed by Djokovic before the end of the season.

The Serbian, meanwhile, remains Nadal’s biggest threat and has a great chance to beat Nadal before the end of the season. Djokovic is not defending any points owing to his injury absence in the second-half of the campaign and despite his 2,315 point gap to the Spaniard, there are three major tournaments that can yield a maximum of 3,500 points combined, where there are also two ATP 500 events that Djokovic can play at to gain further points in his chase for the top spot in the ATP men’s singles rankings.