Novak Djokovic will return to the top of the world rankings on Monday after current world No 1 Carlos Alcaraz lost to Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals of the Miami Open.
Alcaraz was beaten 6-7 6-4 6-2 by Sinner, the man he had defeated in the semi-finals at Indian Wells last month en route to winning that event in California and topping the rankings.
Sinner will now face Daniil Medvedev, with the latter becoming the first player since Ivan Lendl in 1981 to reach a fifth consecutive ATP final after overcoming fellow Russian Karen Khachanov 7-6 3-6 6-3.
Alcaraz told reporters: “I feel something different about the crowd when I play against Jannik. I think around the world is probably all the people watching this match because I think it’s really beautiful to watch.”
The Spaniard needed to successfully defend his Miami Open title to stay ahead of Djokovic, who has missed the American swing due to his vaccination status.
Alcaraz added: “I don’t think about that I lost the number one, I lost the Sunshine Double.
“Of course, it’s a shame, but I think I’m going to have more years to try to get it (win Indian Wells and Miami back to back). But all I can think about is to improve my level to beat Jannik.”
Djokovic has not played tennis in the United States since 2021 but will be able to feature at the US Open in August and September – live on Sky Sports – after the Senate voted to end Covid-19 measures.
The 35-year-old had applied for special permission to play at Indian Wells and Miami this year but that was rejected by officials.