Novak Djokovic - US Open 2023

Novak Djokovic ‘very pleased’ with US Open return as he dethrones Carlos Alcaraz as world No.1

Novak Djokovic has returned to the US Open in winning fashion, ensuring that he will return to the world No.1 ranking following the conclusion of the tournament.

Djokovic beat Alexandre Muller, 6-0 6-2 6-3, in a 96-minute match that began after 11pm local time.

However, the 23-time Grand Slam champion appeared nothing but happy following his first win on Arthur Ashe Stadium since the 2021 semi-final.

“I knew it was going to be a late night for me, late start of the match. Nevertheless, I mean, I was excited to go out on the court,” said Djokovic.

He continued, “I didn’t care if I started after midnight because I was looking forward to this moment for few years, to be out on the biggest stadium in our sport, the loudest stadium in our sport, playing night session.

“Everyone knows in tennis that night sessions at Arthur Ashe definitely are the most exciting, fun, loud, energetic sessions you can have out there on the tennis world.”

The 36-year-old missed last year’s edition of the US Open due to his Covid-19 vaccination status, and didn’t appear to have any demons as he played what he described as ‘lights-out tennis’ against the Frenchman.

“It was a great joy to be stepping out on the court,” said Djokovic. “I think the performance explains how I felt tonight, particularly in the first two sets. It was kind of lights-out tennis really, almost flawless, perfect first set.”

“I’ve probably had the answer for every shot he had in his book. Overall I’m very, very pleased with the way I feel, with the way I’m playing. Hopefully I can maintain that level. It’s just the beginning of the tournament, but I already like the level of tennis.”

Djokovic now moves onto the second round in New York, where he will play Bernabe Zapata Miralles in a first time meeting on Wednesday.

Novak Djokovic and his 10 reigns as world No.1

As Djokovic confirms that he will leapfrog Carlos Alcaraz in the latest installment of their back-and-forth at the top of the ATP rankings, we at Tennishead have looked back at all of the Serb’s many periods as world No.1:

Current total weeks as world No.1: 389 (Most in history)

  1. 4th July 2011 (53 weeks)
  2. 5th November 2022 (48 weeks)
  3. 7th July 2014 (122 weeks)
  4. 5th November 2018 (52 weeks)
  5. 3rd February 2020 (86 weeks)
  6. 21st March 2022 (12 weeks)
  7. 30th January 2023 (7 weeks)
  8. 3rd April 2023 (7 weeks)
  9. 12th June 2023 (2 weeks)
  10. 11th September 2023 (Will begin following the 2023 US Open)

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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.