Carlos Alcaraz - Shanghai Masters 2023

Carlos Alcaraz concedes that it will be ‘tougher’ to achieve Djokovic goal after Shanghai defeat

Carlos Alcaraz has conceded that he has ‘lost a lot of opportunities’ to become year-end No.1 for a second year in a row, with the Spaniard being defeated in the fourth round of the Shanghai Masters.

Alcaraz was beaten by Grigor Dimitrov, 7-5 2-6 4-6, in his first defeat to the Bulgarian and he has reflected on missing the opportunity to really close the gap on the world No.1, who decided not to return to China.

“After this loss, it’s going to be tougher,” admitted the 20-year-old. “If I want to be No. 1, I have a few tournaments ahead so I will try to do my best. I will try to win them if I want to have a chance to end the year as No. 1. I don’t know, but right now I have a lost a lot of opportunities to make it.”

The ATP No.2 has failed to win a title since Wimbledon back in July, losing to the likes of Tommy Paul, Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner and now Dimitrov.

However, Alcaraz still has chances to bridge that gap and will now turn his attention back to Europe, where he will first compete at the ATP 500 event in Basel.

And despite his recent defeats, the Wimbledon champion still believes he is playing ‘great tennis’, “After this loss, I mean, it’s not too much time ago, so I have to think about it, but I will take a lot of lessons to improve in the practice before the tournament that I have ahead.

He continued, “I think I’m playing great tennis. Even if I didn’t make the quarter-final or losing in the semi-final, I think I’m playing great tennis.

“So I have to practice a hundred percent in these weeks before Basel, that’s the next tournament for me, so I’ll try to make my best in that tournament.”

Alcaraz will begin his campaign on the indoor courts of Switzerland in a couple of weeks time, when the tournament begins on Monday 23rd October.

Inside the baseline…

Although Alcaraz has not been claiming titles like we have become used to in recent months, the Spaniard has still been producing some strong performances and reaching the latter stages of tournaments. Also, all of Alcaraz’s losses have been against top 20 ranked players and that can happen, especially in the closing stages of a long tennis season. That being said, Djokovic has definitely been put in the driving seat to become year-end No.1 now and it seems unlikely that he will slip up at two of the tournaments where he has been very successful over the years.

Carlos Alcaraz vs Novak Djokovic for the year-end No.1

With Alcaraz not taking full advantage of the Chinese swing, the race to become year-end No.1 is hanging in the balance with few tournaments left in the season.

And we, at Tennishead, have got the full details of the ranking points situation:

Novak Djokovic

Total ranking points to be confirmed on Monday 16th October: 11,045

Points dropping from ranking by the end of the year: 2,100

Maximum points he can gain (Based off assumed schedule): 2,500

Maximum year-end total: 11,445

Carlos Alcaraz

Total ranking points to be confirmed on Monday 16th October: 8,805

Points dropping from ranking by the end of the year: 360

Maximum points he can gain (Based off assumed schedule): 3,000

Maximum year-end total: 11,445

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.