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Following his triumph in the 2023 Indian Wells tournament, Carlos Alcaraz has regained the title of ‘world number one’. This is obviously a huge accolade for any player, especially for a player who is still in his teens. Yet while there is plenty of hype about Alcaraz taking back the number 1 ranking, I have a bit of news to share. Sure, it’s exciting for Alcaraz fans that he is ranked number 1 going into the Miami Open, but he has some serious pressure if he is to stay number 1 after this tournament.
More specifically, due to the points total, Alcaraz actually has to win the tournament to avoid handing the number 1 ranking back to Novak Djokovic. I know that this seems pretty crazy given that Djokovic isn’t even competing in the 2023 Miami Open. But since Alcaraz won the Miami Open in 2022, he has 1000 points to defend at the event this year. Furthermore, Djokovic has a grand total of zero points to defend given that he missed both Indian Wells and Miami in 2022.
So clearly, this puts plenty of pressure on the young Spaniard this week. However, he is obviously the man of the moment right now following the title run in Indian Wells. But what are his realistic chances of winning the Miami Open this year? Let’s take a look.
Carlos Alcaraz and the 2023 Miami Open – Nothing Less Than a Title Will Do
Okay, I’ve already mentioned that Alcaraz must win the Masters 1000 tournament in Miami if he is to stay ranked as the world number one. However, what we haven’t looked at or considered yet is what his chances look like based on the draw and his current form. So let me take a quick glance at the biggest threats to Alcaraz at the Miami Open. This way, you will know whether Alcaraz will cling to the top spot beyond the most recent rankings update.
Tsitsipas – 2nd Seed
Looking at the current draw for the Miami Open, it’s Stefanos Tsitsipas who is the 2nd seed. This means that the two could only play each other in the final, and Alcaraz has a 3-0 head-to-head record over the Greek. This obviously bodes well for Alcaraz since Tsitsipas is the next highest-ranked guy in the draw. Furthermore, Tsitsipas has a few physical issues at the moment, so he may not even make the final.
Medvedev – 4th Seed
Since Medvedev made the final at Indian Wells following three titles on the bounce, I’d definitely say that he is the biggest threat if we don’t base things on the seedings alone. However, Alcaraz destroyed Medvedev in the final just a few days back. Because of that, even Medvedev might have taken a bit of a confidence blow following such a beating.
Ruud – 3rd Seed
Ruud is the 3rd seed at the Miami Open and he was the runner-up last year. This automatically qualifies him as a threat to Alcaraz, yet he isn’t having the best of seasons in 2023. And with a 3-0 head-to-head record over Casper Ruud, I’m sure Alcaraz would fancy his chances if he went up against him.