Djokovic could scarcely have hoped for a better start to 2023, winning the Adelaide Open before claiming Australian Open glory three weeks later. He reclaimed the world No 1 ranking with his success in Melbourne and this week broke the record length of time at top spot, surpassing the great Steffi Graf after spending 378 weeks as world No 1 during his career.
However, things have not always been plain sailing for Djokovic over the past year with his vaccination status preventing him from competing in tournaments in the USA. Alcaraz was one of the biggest beneficiaries of this, ending 2022 as world No 1 after winning the US Open.
The duo are now set to do battle for titles and ranking points in 2023, something Corretja believes will be great for the sport. The Spaniard believes Alcaraz and Djokovic can push each other to new levels similar to the Serb’s relationship with Nadal and Federer for much of his career.
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“This is great for tennis, and it is great for them because, at the end of the day, the reason why Rafa, Roger and Novak were so good was because they were in the same era and they needed to improve.
“Otherwise, it was not enough from what you did last year, you need to add a few things in order to keep winning tournaments and big titles which, in the end, is what really matters the most for these players.”
Djokovic and Alcaraz will both be in action this week with the Serb part of the Dubai Tennis Championships while the teenager lines up at the Mexican Open.