Carlos Alcaraz applauded Novak Djokovic's North American swing campaign and warned the Serb he is determined to regain the world No 1 spot before the season ends. After winning the Cincinnati Masters and US Open this summer on hard courts, Djokovic overtook Alcaraz at the top spot in the ATP rankings.
This week, Alcaraz is playing at an ATP 500 tournament in Beijing - this is his first tournament since the US Open. Djokovic currently has 3.260 ranking points more than Alcaraz but the Spaniard doesn't have many points to defend in the remainder of the year, while the Serb has a notable number of points to defend.
“As I said a few times, we have a really beautiful battle for the No 1 spot after the great performance Djokovic had in the American season. He's the No 1 right now. I'm coming here with extra motivation to try to recover it in the Race, of course, in the ranking.
As I said, it's something that I have in my mind every time that I practice, in every tournament. Is not obligatory for me to recover that, but of course you have to put the goals in the year. So for me No 1 spot is one of the main goals for me.
In these great tournaments, I'm looking to do great to be able to be close or recover that number," Alcaraz said, via the ATP website.
Alcaraz hopes to do well in Beijing
At the China Open in Beijing, 20-year-old Alcaraz is making his debut this year.
After suffering a US Open semifinal defeat to Daniil Medvedev, Alcaraz returned to Spain, where he rested and practiced before going to Beijing for the start of the Asian swing. In Beijing, Alcaraz is the top-seeded player and the top favorite for the title.
“We have [had] quality practice at home before coming here, played some sets with players from the academy that are playing great. I'm feeling great coming here. I had my first practice yesterday at the centre court. It was amazing to get in and step on the court see how it is to be playing in that court," Alcaraz said.
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