Carlos Alcaraz's 'crazy' remark on fight for world No.1 against Novak Djokovic | Tennis News - Hindustan Times
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Carlos Alcaraz's 'crazy' remark on fight for world No.1 against Novak Djokovic as Cincinnati Masters set to stage battle

Aug 15, 2023 01:06 PM IST

If Alcaraz suffers a defeat before the quarters, Djokovic could walk out of Cincinnati Masters as the world No.1 by only reaching the final

One of the biggest talking point on the brewing rivalry between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic in 2023 has been their battle for the world No.1 ranking spot. Having lost it following his loss to the Serb in the French Open, Alcaraz claimed it back with his maiden grass court title at the Queen's and later successfully defended it with a stunning Wimbledon title haul. However, with the shock early exit in Canadian Open, Cincinnati Masters opens the stage of another battle for the ranking crown between the two. And ahead of the start of the his campaign, Alcaraz, in the pre-tournament presser, cracked a smile as he opened up on his battle.

This will be Carlos Alcaraz's third appearance in Cincinnati Masters event
This will be Carlos Alcaraz's third appearance in Cincinnati Masters event

“I like those battles. I like to know that I can lose, and I can recover it at the same time. Of course, you have to enjoy when the battle is against one of the legends from our sport, against Novak,” Alcaraz said. “I feel that I'm [the] main opponent for him. For me, it's something crazy, and I'm trying to enjoy [it].”

ALSO READ: Watch: Djokovic returns to US after 2 years, looks at daunting best in intense practice ahead of Cincinnati Masters

How will world No.1 title be decided at Cincinnati Masters?

Although Alcaraz managed to better his show in Canadian Open, having suffered a second-round exit last year in Montreal, he managed to get just 180 points, which now puts him 600 points clear at the top against Djokovic (9,395 against 8,795). The 20-year-old will be be defending 180 points in Ohio having made the quarters last year while Djokovic, who will be making his first appearance in the event since 2019, has no points to defend.

If Alcaraz suffers a defeat before the quarters, Djokovic could walk out of Cincinnati Masters as the world No.1 by only reaching the final. For Alcaraz to deny the Serb the top spot ahead of the US Open, he has to reach the final.

“You have to put goals to yourself during the season, in every tournament,” Alcaraz said. “And for me right now the main goal is to stay in the top spot and if I lose it, try to recover it as fast as I can. It's something that helped me a lot to show my best level in the big tournaments.”

This will be Alcaraz's third appearance in the Masters 1000 event. Two years back, he had to go through the qualifying rounds to make the main draw. And last year, he lost his shot at making the semis after a losing to Cameron Norrie in an intense quarterfinal clash. But the four-time ATP 1000 winner remains hopeful of a change in fortune in Ohio this year before heading towards New York for his title-defense campaign at the US Open.

“A lot of things changed since last year. I think the tournament grew up a lot, and this is my first day here,” Alcaraz said. “My first practice I had this morning, so I enjoyed this practice. All the fans were there enjoying the practice as well. So far I'm enjoying my time here in Cincinnati.”

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