Novak Djokovic will return to world No 1 for the eighth time in his profession if he wins a tenth Australian Open title on Sunday.
Djokovic, who has claimed the year-end No 1 title on seven earlier events, was deposed by Carlos Alcaraz when he turned a grand slam champion for the primary time in September by successful the US Open.
Nonetheless, the Serb holds the report for essentially the most weeks spent at No 1 of 373, forward of Roger Federer’s 310, and can lengthen that report if he lifts the Norman Brookes Problem Cup.
He won’t but have the ability to take the report of oldest world No 1 from Federer although: the Swiss legend was 36 years and 10 months outdated when he final topped the standings, and Djokovic will solely flip 36 this Could.
It could be fairly the turnaround from final 12 months, when he completed the season ranked No 5 on the earth, partly as a result of the truth that he acquired no factors for successful Wimbledon and was banned from the USA due to his unvaccinated standing.
“I all the time see myself as one of the best participant on the earth,” stated Djokovic again in November. “I’ve that form of mentality and that form of strategy.
“No matter who’s throughout the online, no matter what the floor is, no matter what season it’s, what variety of the skilled season in my profession we’re going through. It is all the time the identical. The ambitions are as excessive as doable.
“I had a tremendous end to the season with a lot of the tournaments that I performed indoors I received. Indoors has been traditionally very profitable for me.
“Taking part in in Italy, in a rustic the place I like to play, the place I’ve a very particular reference to folks, makes this trophy and this win much more particular.”
ATP high 10
(Earlier than Australian Open)
- 1. Carlos Alcaraz (6,820 factors)
- 2. Rafael Nadal (5,770 factors)
- 3. Casper Ruud (5,720 pts)
- 4. Stefanos Tsitsipas (5,715 pts)
- 5. Novak Djokovic (5,070 factors)
- 6. Andrey Rublev (3,930 pts)
- 7. Felix Auger-Aliassime (3,895 pts)
- 8. Daniil Medvedev (3,860 pts)
- 9. Taylor Fritz (3,545 pts)
- 10. Holger Rune (2,876 pts)
Profitable the Australian Open earns a participant 2,000 factors, a overwhelmed finalist will get 1,200 and a overwhelmed semi-finalist will get 720.
Nonetheless, whether it is Stefanos Tsitsipas who takes the title, the No 3 seed attempting to win his first grand slam title, then he’ll transfer to the highest of the standings. It was one thing the Greek realized he may get near reaching on the US Open final 12 months, however he was then handed a shock first-round defeat by Daniel Elahi Galan, admitting afterwards that the chance had preyed on his thoughts.
“I used to be very motivated and pumped earlier than the US Open began as a result of I knew I may use this match, to get nearer to the No 1 spot,” he stated after shedding in 4 units to the Colombian in New York.
“It could be very bizarre and really uncommon if it did not cross my thoughts, as a result of that is one thing I need since I used to be a child, and I knew that that is my probability now to step it up, give it one other robust go, be tremendous robust and tremendous concentrated in the direction of my purpose. And it simply did not go as deliberate.
“Typically we simply possibly must let that go. You needn’t overthink it, you needn’t push your self too laborious. However on the identical time, it is troublesome as a result of there’s a possibility proper in entrance of you and you do not wish to mess it up. You do not wish to waste it.”
There’s a third risk, that if neither Djokovic or Tsitsipas wins the title, then present incumbent Carlos Alcaraz will retain his spot on the high of the standings, one thing he was capable of obtain because the youngest man ever to take action final 12 months.
Alcaraz pulled out of the Australian Open as a result of an harm in his higher proper leg, particularly damaging the semimembranosus muscle that kinds a part of the hamstring.
The Spaniard has been again coaching on the clay this week forward of an anticipated return subsequent month in South America, however he might accomplish that because the world No 2 if both of the 2 largest favorites wins the title in Melbourne – and whether it is Djokovic who takes it towards Tsitsipas within the remaining, Alcaraz will drop to No 3 when the rankings refresh on Monday.