Greg Rusedski claims players felt Novak Djokovic was No 1 even when Carlos Alcaraz was ranked ahead of the Serb. After winning last year's US Open, Alcaraz became the world No 1 for the first time in his career. Following Djokovic's 2023 Australian Open win, the Serb overtook Alcaraz at the world No 1 spot.
Since then, Alcaraz has been able to three times regain the top spot. But after this year's US Open, Djokovic again replaced Alcaraz at the world No 1 spot. Last year, Djokovic missed two Grand Slams and a couple of Masters events - that was a big reason why he dropped a good amount of points in 2022.
Earlier this year, Djokovic wasn't allowed to enter the United States for the Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami. In Djokovic's absence, Alcaraz won Indian Wells and made the Miami semifinal.
Rusedski: Players felt Djokovic was No 1 even when Alcaraz was ranked ahead
“It was the first time in his career that he (Alcaraz) had to defend a major.
It’s not a bad effort making the semis. I mean most people if they get to the semis of a major, that’s career-defining. You talked about [Ben] Shelton right now making the semis, beating [Frances] Tiafoe in the quarters – ‘What a great result’.
World No 1 loses in the semis — ‘What’s going on.’ Let’s be honest, he (Alcaraz) was World No 1 for most of this year but all the players still think Novak is No 1 because he wasn’t allowed to play the Indian Wells, Miami, all the majors he missed as well because of his stance that he had with Covid as well, not getting vaccinated.
So you gotta look at all those things that were around the whole situation for Novak. I think Novak felt he was No 1 even though the ranking didn’t say so," Rusedski said on Tennis Channel's Inside-In podcast, via Tennis365.
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