September 27 (Reuters) – Carlos Alcaraz is enjoying his “good fight” with Novak Djokovic for the world number one at the end of the year. The 20-year-old Spaniard declared on Wednesday that it will give him more motivation before the China Open.
Alcaraz was Djokovic’s main opponent this year, beating him in the Wimbledon final, but the Serbian overtook him for the top spot by winning his 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open this month.
Ahead of his return to action in Beijing this week, world number two Alcaraz said he would think about first place every time he trains and plays, in a bid to close the gap on Djokovic.
“We have a nice fight for world number one, especially after Novak’s great performance in the United States,” said Alcaraz to reporters, referring to Djokovic’s victories in Cincinnati and Flushing Meadows.
“At the moment he is number one, so I have more motivation to try to catch him and get ahead in the race. This is something that is in my mind every time I train, I think about it in every tournament. ”
“It’s not mandatory for me to take it back, but we have to set goals for the year. it’s good to get close. and bring it back.”
Alcaraz was joined in a strong Beijing draw by several big names, including world number three, Daniil Medvedev, who defeated him in the semifinals of the United States Open.
The Spaniard will start his campaign with a first round clash against German Yannick Hanfmann, from the previous round of the tournament.