Eurosport tennis expert Mats Wilander acknowledged that certain circumstances played a part in Novak Djokovic losing his top ranking but also adds that Carlos Alcaraz is not undeservedly ranked at No 1 in the world. Djokovic, 35, missed two Grand Slams and four Masters tournaments in 2022.
Also, Djokovic successfully defended his Wimbledon title but still lost 2,000 points after the ATP sanctioned Wimbledon by removing ranking points from this year's tournament. At the US Open, Alcaraz lifted his first Grand Slam title and also became the youngest No 1 in tennis history.
Rafael Nadal, who finished the 2022 season ranked at No 2, also dealt with injuries this year and played a total of four tournaments after Wimbledon.
Wilander on Djokovic's ranking situation
"Yes, the circumstances have stolen the world number one ranking from him.
But I think again we have to start thinking why does it have to be important to be number one in the world at the end of the year? Novak is clearly number one in the world for a few months in 2022 and Rafa Nadal was number one for another few months in 2022.
And Carlos Alcaraz was number one for other reasons. He [Alcaraz] was number one in terms of the excitement that he brought and then he was able to deal with the pressure that he brought on himself and win the US Open where he had to win to be No.
1 in the world. So I think that he deserves to be number one. So Novak and Rafa consistently weren't there all year but most of that has to do with Novak's situation of not being allowed to play and Rafa, with his situation not being allowed to play [through injury].
So I think it's all fair," Wilander told Eurosport. When Djokovic was asked about Alcaraz finishing as the Year-End No 1, the Serb stated that the 19-year-old deserved that accomplishment.