Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas have a chance of taking the World No. 1 spot from Carlos Alcaraz by the end of the 2023 Australian Open. But this brings Alcaraz no discomfort, who recently stated that they would deserve the top spot for their incredible achievements.
Both Djokovic and Tsitsipas have a chance of making it to World No. 1 in the ATP rankings if they clinch the title at the ongoing Grand Slam in Melbourne. While the Serb is yet to play his quarterfinal match, Tsitsipas has already qualified for the last four.
With both players still in the hunt for the championship, Alcaraz's ranking is at risk. But the reigning US Open champion is respectful about what his rivals will have done to take away his position.
He feels that if either of them gets to be the champion, they would "deserve" to go to the top.
"I'm watching what Djokovic and Tsitsipas do, but it doesn't worry me. To take the number 1 number from me there, either of them has to be champion and if it happens it will be because the one who achieves it will deserve it more than me," said the 19-year-old in a Laureles award ceremony.
Despite major setbacks at the start of the new season and failing to be part of the Australian Open, the current World No. 1 is optimistic about the rest of the season. Alcaraz considers the injury break to have influenced him in a good way, as has got the time to improve on certain aspects of his game.
"I am watching the Australian Open from home and it is hard because I think that I am the one who could be there, but I am a positive person and I think that this break is good for me to realize some things that I could do better on the court and out of it," he asserted.
Novak Djokovic to face Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open
Djokovic's chances of regaining the World No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings are wide open. However, he will have to overcome the challenge of an in-form Rublev to keep his hopes alive.
The two have met each other on three occasions before and it is the Serb who has a slender advantage as the head-to-head record stands at 2-1 in his favor.
Their first meeting happened at the 2021 ATP Finals. The 21-time Grand Slam champion eased past his opponent in straight sets that night.
The second time they met, in the final of the Serbia Open, Rublev beat Djokovic in three sets.
They last faced each other in the 2022 ATP Finals. In a repeat of what transpired in Italy a year prior, the Serb registered a win in straight sets.