Novak Djokovic said his return to the top of the world tennis rankings felt like a major achievement after a turbulent year in which he was forced to miss several tournaments including two of the four Grand Slams, but the Serb expects a long battle for the top spot in 2023.
Djokovic missed the Australian Open in 2022 and the authorities deported him from the country because he was not vaccinated against COVID-@DIGITS before returning this year to win his tenth title in Melbourne Park and the 22nd Grand Slam and regain the top of the world rankings.
“I think this is the lowest number of points I can get at the top of the world rankings,” Djokovic told reporters after his victory over Tomas Machak in Dubai last night. It happened last year, but also because of other players, some players missed the major tournaments due to injuries, and some of them do not have the greatest consistency.
He added, “I think that makes the achievement even greater, at least in my team and in my eyes. I feel very proud, I work hard like everyone else, I am really committed to this sport, and I try.”
Djokovic has now entered his 378th week as the world number one, overtaking Steffi Graf’s record for the number of weeks in the sport.
But he said younger players such as Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas will eventually catch up.
“These guys always play at a high level,” Djokovic said. They participate in a lot of tournaments, I don’t play as much and I don’t plan to play for as many weeks as they do. Eventually they will top the rankings, then I will take it again, then they will take it again, we will go around in circles.
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