The battle for world No. 1 between Spain's Rafael Nadal and Serbia's Novak Djokovic could be decided at the French Open.
Djokovic rallied on Sunday to beat Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the final of the Rome Masters, but the Spaniard is still heading to Paris as the world's top male tennis player.
The 27-year-old Nadal, a 13-time Grand Slam champion who has won a record eight French Open titles, has 12,500 points, giving him only a 650-point lead over Djokovic.
Nadal will be defending 2,000 points at Roland Garros, while the 26-year-old Djokovic, who has won six Grand Slam titles, is only defending 720 points that he earned by making the semis in Paris last year.
Djokovic has never won the French Open and has made the final in Paris only once, losing to Nadal in 2012's rain-delayed championship match.
The winner of Roland Garros will be the ATP's world No. 1, with Nadal needing to win the title if Djokovic makes the semis.
The gap between the world's top two players and the rest of the top five is enormous, with Swiss world No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka having just 5,830 points.
The French Open, the second Grand Slam event of the year and the only one played on clay, gets underway on May 25. EFE