News ID: 324274
Published: 0913 GMT September 23, 2022

Spaniard Alcaraz plots lengthy reign as men's No. 1

Spaniard Alcaraz plots lengthy reign as men's No. 1

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates a point during his match against South Korean Kwon Soon-woo at the Davis Cup in Valencia, Spain, on September 18, 2022.

Having become the youngest player to top the men's world rankings, 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz is already plotting to make sure his stint as world number one is a long one.

The Spaniard climbed to the top of the ATP rankings this month when he claimed his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open at Flushing Meadows, Reuters reported.

"One of my goals is to finish (the year) as number one," Alcaraz was quoted as saying by the ATP website.

"Now that I've got there, my goal is to stay as many days, weeks and months as possible. We're going to work for that."

Alcaraz and fellow Spaniard Rafa Nadal, who won the Australian and French Open titles in 2022, are the only players to have sealed their spots for the ATP Finals in Turin.

The season-ending tournament on the men's tour is played between the top eight singles players and doubles team and Alcaraz has his eyes set on it.

"I have several tournaments before the ATP Finals and we're going to give it our all," said Alcaraz. "I have several important tournaments and one goal is to try and win the ATP Finals.

"You have to do what you have been doing, feel comfortable with what you do, enjoy yourself, be happy on court, play tennis – and that is what I'm going to do. That's the secret for me. To try and forget everything else and enjoy playing tennis."

Novak Djokovic, a 21-time Grand Slam winner, lavished praise on Alcaraz, calling the Spaniard a "great addition" to tennis.

"I congratulate Alcaraz for winning the US Open," Djokovic said on the sidelines of the Laver Cup in London.

"He did it in an incredible fashion ... He's 19 years old and already No. 1 in the world. I mean, it's quite amazing what he has achieved so far.

"He's a great addition to our sport, a great star in making. Well, he's already realised the Grand Slam champion, so we can't speak about him as future, because he's already a present."


No regrets


Djokovic missed two of this year's four Grand Slams due to not being vaccinated against the novel coronavirus but the Serbian said he has no regrets about his decision.

Djokovic won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles in 2021 but was unable to defend his Melbourne Park crown this year after being deported on the eve of the hardcourt major due to his unvaccinated status.

The 35-year-old Serb was also unable to travel to New York for the US Open.

Djokovic has not played since winning Wimbledon in July after he was forced to sit out the ATP Tour's North American hardcourt swing due to his unvaccinated status.

"No, I don't have any regrets," Djokovic told reporters on Thursday on the eve of the Laver Cup in London. "I mean, I do feel sad that I wasn't able to play, but, you know, that was decision that I made.

"I knew what the consequences will be, so I accepted them. That's it."

Djokovic received a three-year travel ban for Australia when he was deported, but then Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it could be waived to allow him to participate in later editions of the major.

"I'm waiting for the news," the former world number one added. "It's really not in my hands right now. I'm hoping I can get some positive news soon."


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