Carlos Alcaraz - US Open 2022

Carlos Alcaraz speaks about ‘pressure’ to fight with Novak Djokovic for No.1

Carlos Alcaraz has spoken about the fight for No.1 with Novak Djokovic, who regained his spot at the top of the rankings after winning a 10th Australian Open title.

Alcaraz became the youngest ATP No.1 in history, after beating Casper Ruud to win his first Grand Slam title at the US Open.

However, injury kept him out of competing at the first major of 2023, and Djokovic’s triumph pushed the Spaniard down to No.2.

Despite not backing down from the fight for No.1, Alcaraz said he does not feel any pressure to climb straight back to the top of the rankings, “I am not a kid or a player who is happy with little things.”

He continued, “I always want more, and we will look for it this week. The truth is that I don’t feel any pressure to fight with [Novak] Djokovic to be the No. 1.”

Alcaraz returned to the tour last week in impressive fashion, winning the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires. The 19-year-old continues on the South American clay this week as he looks to retain his ATP 500 title in Rio de Janeiro.

If the Spaniard is to win an eighth ATP career title he will draw level on ranking points with Djokovic. However, the Serb will remain as No.1 for at least another week as he has more ranking points at Grand Slams, Masters 1000 events and the ATP finals.

But, Alcaraz has declared that he wants to focus on enjoying the season, “The truth is that I hope to have a beautiful year with beautiful tournaments, to be honest. I’ll have a little pressure because I’ll defend some important titles and play at a great level.”

He added, “But as I have said before, I’ll have to play match by match, enjoying it, more than having results. That is what I hope.”

Alcaraz continues his bid for a second Rio Open crown today, when he plays Dusan Lajovic in the quarter-final. Alcaraz’s match with the Serb is a rematch from last week, when the Spaniard won 6-4 6-2.

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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.