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Djokovic could assault Alcaraz's number one at the Australian Open


If he wins the Open, the Serbian would recover the throne to which Ruud and Tsitsipas also have a visa

Djokovic, during Adelaide's semifinal match against Medvedev.Kelly Barnes (AP)

After 4 hours and 12 minutes at Philippe Chatrier, with impossible forehands and parallel setbacks, Rafa Nadal celebrated the victory over Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros quarterfinals on June 13, one more step in the conquest of his great number 22. On the other side of the net, head down, Nole accepted defeat and that a few days later he would lose his crown as number one in the ATP


, that throne on which he has sat more than anyone else (373 weeks), ahead Federer (310) and Sampras (286), with Nadal sixth in the table (209).

Now the crown belongs to Carlos Alcaraz, but, injured to the semimembranosus muscle in his right leg and dropped out of the Australian Open prematurely —it starts on the 16th—, he will hardly be able to retain it.

It turns out that if Djokovic —who is now fifth with 4,820 points;

2,000 less than Alcaraz and exactly the number that is awarded to the winner of a grand-conquest of Australia, he would recover the laurel.

He is not the only one who can reach the top, as the Norwegian Casper Ruud (5,820 points) and the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (5,550) -third and fourth in the classification- could also climb to the top if they win the Open .

He will not be able to aspire to the Nadal scepter, second in the


with 6,020 points, because he defends 2,000 points as the current champion.

But the ban is open, above all because Alcaraz —who only defended 90 points and who had played it and passed rounds would have screwed himself as number one— Australia is lost.

The one who has been in Adelaide (Australian ATP 250) for days is Djokovic, once again on fire because this Saturday he will play the final against the American Sebastian Korda.

"I came to the country earlier because of the time zone and because the goal is to reach the top in Melbourne —the city where the first major of the year is played—, where I want to play better," the tennis player resolved, relieved because he can finally return to his Open preferred, since he has conquered it nine times, more than any other tennis player [Far away are Federer and Roy Emerson, with six].

Although he has had a hard time.

A year ago, the Serbian, reluctant to get vaccinated against covid-19, arrived in Aussie land


a medical exemption to play the Open.

But the government of the country rejected it and, after legal battles, cancellations of his visa and even an arrest at the hotel, Djokovic was deported with a sanction for three seasons and without dusting off his rackets.

A veto that was revoked a couple of months ago by the Australian Immigration Minister, Andrew Giles, allowing him to apply for a visa.

“What happened 12 months ago was not easy to digest, although that will not replace what I have experienced in Melbourne, my Grand Slam.

There I have created some of my best memories," Nole stressed after the news.

The return to normality on the Djokovic circuit makes it difficult for Alcaraz's number one, who already limped off the previous year with an abdominal injury, who played his last official match on November 4 and who observes the progression of contemporary rivals such as Sinner, Aliassime and Rune, in addition to the strength of the

Next Gen

(Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Zverev) and the always feisty Nadal.

"Having a goal on everyone's back is going to be a little different for me this year and I have to be prepared," Alcaraz resolved a few days ago;

"But I'm going to try to end 2023 in the same position as now."

It happens that Nole, champion of the last Masters Cup [pocketed 4.6 million euros, the largest historical prize in a tournament] and already a finalist in Adelaide, arrives with a run.

Melbourne awaits him and, with the permission of Tsitsipas and Ruud, perhaps the number one that Alcaraz will retain for at least 20 weeks.

“In my mind I always see myself as the best in the world,” says Djokovic.

Australia will tell you if it is.

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Source: elparis

All sports articles on 2023-01-07

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