The Australian Open 2023 is almost upon us. The first Slam of the year will take place from 16 to 29 January and it will see several players compete for the coveted trophy. The sudden forfeit of Carlos Alcaraz has completely changed the race for the first position of the ATP ranking.
During one of his last training sessions before leaving for Melbourne, the Spaniard injured the semi-membranosus muscle in his right leg trying to recover a short ball. Alcaraz tested his conditions, but quickly realized he was unable to continue.
Subsequent instrumental tests revealed the extent of the injury and forced the current world number one to raise the white flag in view of the Australian Grand Slam.
Who will be ATP no.1 at the end of the Australian Open 2023?
Alcaraz will lose the 90 points he earned in 2022 by reaching the third round and won't have the chance to improve his ranking.
In order not to leave the top of the world rankings, the Spaniard will have to cling to the results of his three direct rivals: Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic. Alcaraz would remain number one in case Ruud does not reach the final and a player other than Tsitsipas and Djokovic wins the tournament.
For the Norwegian, stuck in third position, it will be enough to reach the final and not challenge the Greek or the Serbian. If he were to win his first Major, he would be sure to look down on everyone on January 30th. Tsitsipas and Djokovic have only one chance, which is to win the Australian Open.
The Greek went all the way to the semifinals of the United Cup and won all his singles matches. Tsitsipas defeated the likes of Grigor Dimitrov, David Goffin, Borna Coric and Matteo Berrettini. Djokovic, for his part, won the 92nd title of his career in Adelaide playing an excellent tournament.
The Belgrademan defeated Denis Shapovalov and Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. Finally, in the last act of the tournament, he showed his great mental strength by annulling a match point from Sebastian Korda and completing an important comeback.