Carlos Alcaraz says he will "try to recover the world No 1 ranking as soon as possible" after Novak Djokovic ensured a return to the top spot following the US Open. Alcaraz, 20, started this week ranked at No 1 ahead of Djokovic by just 20 ranking points.
On Monday, Djokovic defeated Alexandre Muller in his US Open first-round match. Djokovic didn't compete at the US Open last year, while Alcaraz won the title. Djokovic didn't have any points to defend at this year's US Open and he needed to just win one match to ensure overtaking Alcaraz after the US Open.
"Well, right now it's a goal for me honestly. I said before that we are having a really good battle for the No 1, Novak and I. I knew that he was going to recover the No. 1 after US Open. When the tournament is over, I will try to recover as soon as possible.
That's my goal. I am working for that. The season has a lot of tournaments until the year is over. I'll try to recover it before the tournament end, before the year end," Alcaraz said after losing the world No 1 spot to Djokovic.
Alcaraz makes a positive US Open start
On Tuesday, Alcaraz had a 6-2 3-2 lead over Dominik Koepfer when the German retired due to an ankle injury.
Alcaraz enjoyed his return to Arthur Ashe Stadium and revealed he is trying not to think too much about being the defending champion in New York. "Well, I was excited to play my first round here in US Open. I mean, it was great to step on court again in the Arthur Ashe after such a great run last year.
I was excited to come back. I'm not thinking about the defending the title. I was not thinking about I was the champion last year. I just focus on play my best level, to recover the level that I played last year, try to do same things that I did last year.
That's the only thing that I'm thinking right now. I try to be apart about all the pressure people put of me about the defending champion," Alcaraz said.