Grigor Dimitrov dealt a major blow to Carlos Alcaraz’s pursuit of the year-end World No.1 title with a knockout victory at the Shanghai Masters. The loss left the Spaniard disheartened as he tries to catch up to Novak Djokovic. Alcaraz, who had a stellar season with his first Wimbledon win, had his hopes shattered when he lost in a three-set battle against Dimitrov in the round of 16.
Despite winning the first set in a close battle, Alcaraz couldn’t maintain his momentum, and Dimitrov emerged as the victor. This win marked Dimitrov’s first Masters quarter-final since 2021, and he expressed his excitement, reminding fans that he still had more to give. He confidently stated, “I never left. 15 years already, so I’m still here. I’m not going anywhere.” With only one top 10 player remaining in the draw, Dimitrov has a good chance at clinching the Shanghai title.
For Alcaraz, the loss was a significant setback in his race to surpass Djokovic. With Djokovic resting after winning the US Open, Alcaraz had the opportunity to earn ranking points in both the China Open and Shanghai. Unfortunately, he lost to Jannik Sinner in the quarter-final in China and then to Dimitrov in Shanghai. Alcaraz acknowledged the difficulty of his task, stating, “After this loss, it’s going to be tougher. If I want to be No. 1, I have a few tournaments ahead, so I will try to do my best and win them if I want to have a chance.”
With Alcaraz’s limited participation in the Basel Open, it seems likely that Djokovic will secure his eighth year-end World No.1 title. Alcaraz would need to outperform Djokovic in both Paris and Turin to have any chance. Dimitrov’s victory over Alcaraz in Shanghai solidified Djokovic’s position as the leader in the ATP Race, and he will do his best to maintain his position as the season nears its end.
Grigor Dimitrov’s performance in 2023 has been impressive, and he described his match against Alcaraz as a game of “cat and mouse,” praising his ability to read Alcaraz’s serves. He served well when needed and played a solid set in the third, ultimately securing his place in the quarter-finals where he will face Nicolas Jarry. Alcaraz, on the other hand, has already qualified for the Race to Turin, but he will need to surpass Djokovic’s achievements in Paris and Turin if he wants a chance at the year-end tournament.
Jessica Roberts serves up the latest in the world of tennis. With a love for the racket sport, she reports on tennis matches, player rankings, and Grand Slam events, ensuring readers stay informed about the tennis world.