Alcaraz schedule decision gives Djokovic something to worry about

Novak Djokovic’s ranking will be under threat at the Rome Masters as he looks to defend his title. The world No 1 was forced to miss Madrid this week with an injury but is still on the entry list for the upcoming Italian Open. And with Carlos Alcaraz confirming his intentions to play in Rome, the Serb could be forced to have a deep run in order to protect the No 1 spot.

Djokovic missed the Madrid Open with an elbow injury after being spotted wearing strapping in both Monte Carlo and Belgrade – where he suffered two early exits. The 35-year-old is now 2-2 for wins and losses on the clay this season and will have an extra thing to worry about in Rome, where he could be knocked off the top spot.

Alcaraz has already revealed that he is planning to play the Italian Open after missing it last year, and he will only be at an advantage with zero points to defend at the event. “Yeah, my plan is going to Rome,” he said after winning his Madrid quarter-final.

“Well, it depends here and how I finish this tournament, but yeah, I would love to play in Rome. This is a tournament that I really want to play. Right now this is my plan.” And if he is able to win Madrid this week, he will go into Rome just five ranking points behind Djokovic.

Just in
Iga Swiatek told she plays like a man by opponent ahead of semi-finals[LATEST]

As the Spaniard will also get a first-round bye as one of the top seeds in Italy, he will automatically pick up 10 ranking points just for playing the event and would move past Djokovic no matter what the Serb does. But even if Alcaraz doesn’t defend his Madrid title, he will have a shot at the top spot in Rome.

After reaching the semi-final this week, he now has 6,130 points in the live rankings compared to Djokovic’s 6,775. With a runner-up spot in Spain Alcaraz will have 6,370 and a title would earn him 6,770. It means that even if the 19-year-old loses his match against Karen Khachanov on Friday, the title in Rome would make him the new world No 1 on May 22.

With Djokovic defending the title at the Italian Open, he can only keep or lose his current points tally. And Alcaraz might not be the only player the 22-time Major champion has to worry about depending on what Stefanos Tsitsipas can do in Madrid.

Don’t miss…
Nick Kyrgios breaks silence after helping catch alleged car robber[UPDATE]
Emma Raducanu out of Wimbledon as Brit tennis star undergoes surgery[NEWS]
Serena Williams’ former coach offers to help Emma Raducanu[QUOTES]

The Greek star is currently into the quarter-final in Madrid and would need a monumental effort to finally make his world No 1 debut, as he must win both the Madrid and Rome Masters back-to-back. Tsitsipas has already had a shot at the top spot before, playing Djokovic himself in the Australian Open final with both the trophy and the ranking on the line.

But it was the Serb who won his record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title and returned to No 1 in the world after starting the year at No 5. Since then, he has relinquished the top spot just once to Alcaraz when the Spaniard won Indian Wells. But Djokovic was straight back on top when Alcaraz failed to defend his Miami title and has been there ever since.

Source: Read Full Article