Carlos Alcaraz - US Open 2023

Carlos Alcaraz thinks about dethroning Novak Djokovic ‘in every tournament’

Carlos Alcaraz has revealed his intention to dethrone Novak Djokovic to become year-end No.1 once again, as he prepares to return to the ATP tour for the first time since his US Open semi-final defeat.

Alcaraz failed to defend the US Open title after being defeated in the semi-final by eventual runner-up Daniil Medvedev, and he is now turning his attention to making his ATP tournament debut in China.

The young Spaniard appears to be embracing the new environment, after revealing his intention to return back to the top of the ATP rankings, “Of course it is a goal. As I have said a few times, we have a really beautiful battle to be No.1 in the world, especially after the great performance that Novak had on the last American tour.”

He continued, “Right now he is No 1, so I come here with extra motivation to try to get him back and place first in the race, as well as in the rankings. Like I said, it’s something that I keep in mind every time I’m training, I think about it in every tournament.

“It is not mandatory for me to recover it either, but we have to set goals for the year. For me, the No.1 position is one of my main objectives, so in these big tournaments I am going to go for it, to try to do well to be close and recover it.”

Alcaraz will have an opportunity to close the gap on Djokovic, as the Serb has elected to miss the ATP’s return to China.

The Wimbledon champion features in a stacked draw at the China Open, that involves 15 of the top 20 players, and you can read all about the tournament through our preview!

He will begin his campaign against qualifier Yannick Hanfmann, with Alcaraz winning their only previous encounter that took place four years ago.


Inside the baseline…

This target is interesting from Alcaraz as it’s not something that Djokovic will be worrying about. He cares about winning Slams so we suspect that Alcaraz is deliberately giving himself a very achievable goal, as he’s not going to win as many Slams as Djokovic for a long time.


READ MORE: Welcome back! How tennis is making its return to China after four year absence

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

Djokovic is currently sitting an impressive 3,260 points ahead of his closest rival Carlos Alcaraz, however the Spaniard will have a good opportunity to close the gap if the No.1 takes an expected six weeks out.

Alcaraz is currently entered into events in Beijing (ATP 500), Shanghai (ATP 1000) and Basel (ATP 500), meaning that he has the chance to collect a potential of 2000 points before the Paris Masters.

Here is the full ranking points situation, as we head into the closing stages of the 2023 season:

Novak Djokovic

Current total points: 11,795

Points dropping from ranking by the end of the year: 2,850

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

Maximum year-end total: 11,445

Carlos Alcaraz

Current total points: 8,535

Points dropping from ranking by the end of the year: 680

Maximum points he can gain (Based off assumed schedule): 4,500

Maximum year-end total: 12,675

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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.