Despite winning the first Grand Slam of 2023, Novak Djokovic has seen his time at the top of the world rankings brought to an end by rising star Carlos Alcaraz.
There are few things more dangerous in the world of men’s tennis than Djokovic playing with a point to prove and the Serbian star will have some added motivation as he builds towards the next Grand Slam event of the year at the French Open.
Djokovic Drops Down To Second
It was a perfect start to the year for Djokovic as the veteran, who is the favourite at 6/4 in the French Open betting, managed to win a 10th Australian Open title. The 35-year-old was showing signs last year that he would add to his impressive Grand Slam tally in 2023 and his success down in Melbourne brought about the 22nd major title of his illustrious career.
Djokovic was hoping to build on his victory in Australia but was unable to feature in the events at Indian Wells and Miami Open. His absence from the events in the United States has seen Alcaraz jump up to the top spot in the men’s rankings after an impressive success for the Spaniard at Indian Wells.
The victory in the final in California over Russia’s Daniil Medvedev will certainly have boosted Alcaraz’s confidence, as the 19-year-old goes in search of his first Grand Slam title win in Europe. Djokovic will have watched from the sidelines as the reigning US Open champion Alcaraz shone in the States and that will have given the Belgrade star even more motivation to shine at the French Open.
Djokovic Eyeing Elusive Clean Sweep
Djokovic has come close in the past but the legend has not been able to secure a clean sweep of all four Grand Slam events in a single year. He certainly came close in 2021, as he managed to claim the titles at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.
The clean sweep was there for the taking at the US Open but a 6-4 6-4 6-4 defeat to Medvedev in the final at Flushing Meadows saw Djokovic fall agonisingly short in New York City. Djokovic, like nine times previously, has started this season on course for a clean sweep with victory at the Aussie Open but he has only claimed the French Open title on two previous occasions.
The anticipation is growing ahead of the tournament at Roland-Garros, with Djokovic looking to get back to winning ways after his absence in the US. Alcaraz will be heading to Paris with confidence he can challenge for the title, having only previously reached the quarter-finals at Roland-Garros last year.
Meanwhile, there should certainly be nobody writing off Rafael Nadal’s chances, as the “King of Clay” goes in search of his 15th French Open title. Nadal has had a tough start to the year with a leg injury but will be hoping to be fit and ready when the next Grand Slam event rolls around.
Both Alcaraz and Nadal will have to contend with Djokovic if they are to win the silverware in Paris this summer. That will certainly be easier said than done, with Djokovic having the added motivation to reclaim his familiar top spot at the summit of the world rankings.