Cincinnati Open 2023 – is Djokovic set to steal the number 1 ranking from Alcaraz?

The Cincinnati Open, otherwise known as the Western & Southern Open for sponsorship reasons, has reached the semi-finals stage for the men’s and women’s singles. However, it’s the fascinating prospect of another Alcaraz vs Djokovic final that has stolen the attention of most tennis fans this week. As you may have seen recently, assuming you’ve been following the tournament, both Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic have reached the semi-finals. And if you wish to tune in for their upcoming matches, I’d recommend taking a look at our breakdown of the Cincinnati Open schedule to make sure you catch the action.

Djokovic Western & Southern Open

In terms of their upcoming matches, Novak Djokovic will face Alexander Zverev to book his spot in the finals. As for Carlos Alcaraz, he will play Hubert Hurkacz in a rematch of their thriller from the Canadian Open last week. Since these matches are taking place later today, the stage is set for a pretty awesome day of tennis! Anyway, all of that needed to be stated to give you an idea of what these two guys are truly playing for today.

Specifically, with both Djokovic and Alcaraz in the semi-finals, the battle for the world number 1 ranking is once again ‘on’ between these two. As for Djokovic’s chances of snatching the top spot from Carlos Alcaraz once again, I’d like to explain the ins and outs of what’s required for this to happen.

Djokovic’s chances of taking the number 1 ranking at the Western & Southern Open

Prior to the start of the Cincinnati Open, details were confirmed surrounding the top spot in the ATP rankings. For clarity, both Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz had a chance of being ranked number 1 following the completion of this event. In the case of Carlos Alcaraz, he obviously has the chance to hold on to the number 1 ranking. Yet in the case of Novak Djokovic, he has a chance to knock Alcaraz off his perch at the very top of the ATP rankings. Of course, this put some added spice and drama into the Cincinnati Open, and it’s still unfolding before our eyes as we approach the semi-finals today.

But specifically, besides the obvious possibilities for Alcaraz or Djokovic to win the tournament, they are playing for so much more. It’s not just the number 1 ranking that’s on the table either. It’s the impact that taking the number 1 ranking will have as we approach the 2023 US Open. So on that note, if you are curious about whether Djokovic can take the number one ATP ranking from Alcaraz over the coming days, the answer is yes. However, there are a couple of things that must happen for this to come true. 

Let me share such details with you right now.

Factor one – Alcaraz must lose in the semi-finals today

There are two things that absolutely must occur if Novak Djokovic is to regain the number 1 ranking after this tournament finishes. And as you can see, the first of these two factors is totally out of his control. As displayed, Carlos Alcaraz must lose in the semi-finals today against Hubert Hurkacz if Novak Djokovic is to have a chance of taking back the number 1 ATP ranking. With that said, if you look at the head-to-head standings for these guys, it’s 2-0 in favor of Carlos Alcaraz. Of course, that would suggest that there is a very strong chance for Alcaraz to keep the number one ranking by beating Hurkacz.

However, there is hope for Djokovic, as Hurkacz pushed Alcaraz incredibly close at the Canadian Open last week. In fact, he probably should have beaten Alcaraz in that match. But ultimately, he went down in a third-set tie-break.

Factor two – Djokovic must win the title

To clarify, factor two only becomes relevant if Carlos Alcaraz fails to beat Hubert Hurkacz in the semi-finals later today. But if he does lose to the big-hitting Polish player, the door is then wide open for Novak Djokovic to take back his throne. As you can see, in order for this to happen, Djokovic needs to win the title. And regarding the wins that he must produce to win the title, of course, he needs to beat Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals later today. Looking at the head-to-head for these guys, Djokovic will fancy his chances as he has a 7-4 lead over the German.

Beyond that, if Djokovic beats Zverev, he would then face Hurkacz in the final – if the number one ranking is on his racket, that is. And for that potential match, Djokovic would be licking his lips given the 6-0 head-to-head record in his favor!

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