With Novak Djokovic sitting idle through this month’s Masters 1000 pair in Indian Wells and Miami, injured Carlos Alcaraz is still in with a chance to seize back the top ranking form the Serb.

The presence of Djokovic in the USA was always a mirage due to his refusal to get COVID-vaxxed and the unbending rules of the American government – a “special request” to allow him to pass the order was rejected at the weekend.

 Now, the pressure falls on injury-prone teen Alcaraz and with an outside chance – Stefanos Tsitsipas to see if they can replace the absent Serb atop the ATP list.

Alcaraz has already missed the Australian Open due to a groin injury and suffered another physical setback last month in Rio as he played hurt in a losing final to Brit Cam Norrie.

According to calculations, if Alcaraz can win the Indian Wells title on March 19, he will return to the No. 1 spot. But to achieve the feat he must win the Californian desert title – nothing else will do the job.

As it stands, the youngster is racing for fitness, with no certainty about his condition in the big event which starts at mid-week.

Also in the chase is Tsitsipas. The Greek has suffered with his own recent injury

dramas and has not played since mid-February when he lost in the Rotterdam second round.

The current No. 3. needs to add nearly 1,500 ranking points to reach the top spot. That would be accomplished if he wins one of the two Masters and finishes runner-up in the other.

Main photo:- Carlos Alcaraz warms up for the US Open final 2022 – by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd


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