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Tennis world rankings: Who will be the next world No 1? Djokovic, Tsitsipas and Alcaraz still all in the mix

tennis world rankings who will be the next world no 1 djokovic tsitsipas and alcaraz still all in the

Novak Djokovic will return to world No 1 for the eighth time in his career if he wins a 10th Australian Open title on Sunday.

Djokovic, who has claimed the year-end No 1 title on seven previous occasions, was deposed by Carlos Alcaraz when he became a grand slam champion for the first time in September by winning the US Open.

However, the Serb holds the record for the most weeks spent at No 1 of 373, ahead of Roger Federer’s 310, and will extend that record if he lifts the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.

He will not yet be able to take the record of oldest world No 1 from Federer though: the Swiss legend was 36 years and 10 months old when he last topped the standings, and Djokovic will only turn 36 this May.

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It would be quite the turnaround from last year, when he finished the season ranked No 5 in the world, in part due to the fact that he received no points for winning Wimbledon and was banned from the USA because of his unvaccinated status.

“I always see myself as the best player in the world,” said Djokovic back in November. “I have that kind of mentality and that kind of approach.

“Regardless of who is across the net, regardless of what the surface is, regardless of what season it is, what number of the professional season in my career we’re facing. It’s always the same. The ambitions are as high as possible.

“I had an amazing finish to the season with most of the tournaments that I played indoors I won. Indoors has been historically very successful for me.

“Playing in Italy, in a country where I love to play, where I have a really special connection with people, makes this trophy and this win even more special.”

ATP top 10

(Before Australian Open)

  • 1. Carlos Alcaraz (6,820 points)
  • 2. Rafael Nadal (5,770 pts)
  • 3. Casper Ruud (5,720 pts)
  • 4. Stefanos Tsitsipas (5,715 pts)
  • 5. Novak Djokovic (5,070 pts)
  • 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)

Winning the Australian Open earns a player 2,000 points, a beaten finalist gets 1,200 and a beaten semi-finalist gets 720.

However, if it is Stefanos Tsitsipas who takes the title, the No 3 seed trying to win his first grand slam title, then he will move to the top of the standings. It was something the Greek realised he could get close to achieving at the US Open last year, but he was then handed a shock first-round defeat by Daniel Elahi Galan, admitting afterwards that the opportunity had preyed on his mind.

“I was very motivated and pumped before the US Open started because I knew I could use this tournament, to get closer to the No 1 spot,” he said after losing in four sets to the Colombian in New York.

“It would be very weird and very unusual if it didn’t cross my mind, because this is something I want since I was a kid, and I knew that this is my chance now to step it up, give it another strong go, be super strong and super concentrated towards my goal. And it just didn’t go as planned.

“Sometimes we just maybe need to let that go. You don’t need to overthink it, you don’t need to push yourself too hard. But at the same time, it’s difficult because there’s an opportunity right in front of you and you don’t want to mess it up. You don’t want to waste it.”

There is a third possibility, that if neither Djokovic or Tsitsipas wins the title, then current incumbent Carlos Alcaraz will retain his spot at the top of the standings, something he was able to achieve as the youngest man ever to do so last year.

Alcaraz pulled out of the Australian Open due to an injury in his upper right leg, specifically damaging the semimembranosus muscle that forms part of the hamstring.

The Spaniard has been back training on the clay this week ahead of an expected return next month in South America, but he may do so as the world No 2 if either of the two biggest favourites wins the title in Melbourne – and if it is Djokovic who takes it against Tsitsipas in the final, Alcaraz will drop to No 3 when the rankings refresh on Monday.

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