Djokovic gets Alcaraz warning as Aus Open win caused ‘difficulty’

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Novak Djokovic’s world No 1 ranking could be under threat as Carlos Alcaraz has set his sights on returning to the top. The Serb was able to climb back up to No 1 with his Australian Open victory when then-top ranked player Alcaraz was sidelined with injury, and following his long-awaited comeback the teenager has now revealed that his main goal is dethroning Djokovic.

Alcaraz returned to competition at this week’s Argentina Open after being sidelined by back-to-back injuries dating back to November. The world No 2 had originally been set to come back at the Aussie Open but had to pull out after hurting his leg in training and was forced to miss what was meant to be his first Major since becoming the world No 1 and a Grand Slam champion at September’s US Open. 

And he was left unable to try and defend his spot at the top of the rankings, with Djokovic pushing him down to the second spot after winning a record 10th Australian Open title. Alcaraz has now opened up on losing the prestigious ranking and is already bidding to win it back as he shared how tough it was to watch the Serb’s success while being stopped from playing.

“It was difficult to lose Australia,” the six-time title winner told Urbana Play. “It was an important tournament for me in which I could score points and It’s obviously a Grand Slam, where I’m going to win it. It was difficult to watch it on TV and see Djokovic take No 1 from me.”

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While the 19-year-old knew that he would eventually lose the No 1 spot – especially given the fact that Djokovic was unable to play last year and had 2,000 points to gain – he said his immediate goal was to get the ranking back as soon as he could. Alcaraz continued: “It was clear to me that No 1 was going to be taken from me sooner or later, I knew that it would be difficult to keep it all the time.

“Now the objective is to recover it as soon as possible. But I haven’t competed in a while, and what I want now is to get back on the court and compete.” In Alcaraz’s absence, Djokovic was also able to win the Aussie Open and tie Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 men’s singles Grand Slam titles.

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But the 19-year-old refused to join in with the ongoing GOAT debate between the members of the Big Three, adding: “I can’t say any. There are many out there who deserve it.” Now sitting at No 2 in the world, the Spaniard played his first match in 103 days on Wednesday as the top seed at the Argentina Open.

And he was slightly rusty, needing two hours to get past world No 57 Laslo Djere in three sets 6-2 4-6 6-2. Alcaraz will now play another Serb in qualifier Dusan Lajovic in Friday’s quarter-final as he bids to win his first title since lifting the US Open crown.

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