Tennis journalist Jon Wertheim has highlighted how special Novak Djokovic’s reign at the top of the ATP rankings is given how thin the margins of success can be in tennis.

On Twitter, Wertheim detailed how Dominic Thiem’s struggles on return from injury have continued with a first-round loss to Thiago Monteiro at the Rio Open. The American wrote that he hoped Thiem was aware of the numerous fans rooting for a triumphant comeback from him.

“Man, the plot is still sagging. One hopes the Austrian protagonist knows how many people are cheering for a third act comeback…..,” Wertheim wrote on Twitter.

Mark Wolfe replied to Wertheim and commented on how Thiem’s struggles showed how slim the margins of success can be at the highest level.

“Thiem’s struggles show how severe his injury was and how very thin are the margins of victory,” Wolfe wrote.

Wertheim concurred with Wolfe’s assessment and praised Novak Djokovic for his sustained level of excellence at the highest level for more than seven years. He mentioned that Djokovic equalling Steffi Graf’s record of 377 weeks at World No. 1 is extraordinary given the delicate nature of success in tennis.

“100 percent….As Djokovic becomes the all-time leader – male or female – in weeks spent at No.1, we might reflect on a) how delicate tennis success can be b) how extraordinary one must be to stay on top for the equivalent of 7-plus years….,” Wertheim wrote.

Mark Wolfe added that Rafael Nadal’s record of being in the top ten of the ATP rankings for 17 years is also exceptional for the same reason.

“That’s why Rafa’s streak of being in the Top 10 for 17 years is beyond belief,” Wolfe added.

Novak Djokovic hits the practice courts ahead of the Dubai Tennis Championships

Novak Djokovic will make his return to the tour at the ATP 500 Dubai Tennis Championships, scheduled to begin on February 25.

The World No. 1 was seen getting into shape in a recent Instagram post. In the clip, he is seen practicing at the Novak Tennis Center in Serbia.

“World number 1 @djokernole putting in the work base home in 🇷🇸 at the,” the post was captioned.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion will feature alongside defending champion Andrey Rublev, former World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and Felix Auger-Aliassime among others. Rafael Nadal was unfortunately forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a persistent injury sustained at the Australian Open in January.