Djokovic, Ruud, Tsitsipas compete for number 1 at Australian Open | TBEN | Tennis

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Three players have a little more than just the Grand Slam title of the year to play for at the 2023 Australian Open. Novak Djokovic, Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas all start their campaigns knowing they are the new No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings will be by collecting the trophy in Melbourne.

World number 3 Ruud can also claim first place by reaching the final, as long as neither Djokovic nor Tsitsipas win the title. If none of these scenarios materialize, the reign of current world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, who will not play in Melbourne due to injury, will continue.

Djokovic, number 5 in the world, arrives in Melbourne as one of the title favourites. He has won a record nine Australian Open titles, owns a tournament record of 82-8 and started his 2023 season impressively by winning his 92nd tour-level trophy in the Adelaide International 1. He can return to world No. 1 for the first time since June 6 by winning his record-tying 22nd Grand Slam singles title in Melbourne.

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The 35-year-old Serb also has past experience on his side when it comes to fighting for the top ranking. The seven-time year-end No. 1 has spent 373 weeks as world No. 1 throughout his career, longer than anyone else in history.

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No. 3-ranked Ruud is chasing his maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne and achieving this feat would give the Norwegian double cause for celebration. He would become Norway’s first world No. 1 at the age of 24, having already become his country’s first TBEN title list, Nitto ATP Finals participant and Grand Slam finalist.

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Should both Djokovic and Tsitsipas fall before the final in Melbourne, Ruud can secure first place by reaching the championship game. He made that podium twice at Grand Slams in 2022, at Roland Garros and the US Open, where he was beaten by Alcaraz in what was a straight shootout to become the world No. 1. Ruud’s best performance at the Australian Open right now is a fourth-round appearance in 2021.

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Like Ruud, Tsitsipas is aiming for his first major crown and becoming world No. 1 for the first time. The world number 4 can count on vocal support from the Melbourne crowd, which is home to a large Greek community, and his track record suggests the 24-year-old enjoys the vibrant atmosphere. Tsitsipas reached the semifinals in 2019, 2021 and 2022 and has an overall tournament record of 15-5.

Nine-time TBEN titlist Tsitsipas needs to win the title in Melbourne to become world No. 1. The closest he came to winning a Grand Slam came at Roland Garros in 2021, when he fell to Djokovic in a five-set thriller. .