Alcaraz leads the ATP Tour with 58 wins this year, three more than second-placed Daniil Medvedev, who bested him at the US Open recently. So why does he trail Djokovic both in the rankings and the race to Turin?
The race is mostly about Djokovic's wins being more meaningful compared to Alcaraz's throughout the 2023 season. The Spaniard won only one Grand Slam this year, Wimbledon, compared to Djokovic, who won three.
Those events carry the most amount of points so you can see where the Serbian pulled away, considering that the young Spaniard couldn't compete in Australia on top of that. Alcaraz did win a couple of smaller events this year, but they don't hand out as many points as Grand Slams do.
So while Alcaraz did score plenty of wins in his championship runs at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires, Indian Wells and Barcelona Open, for example, he didn't get that many points for it. At least not compared to Djokovic and his Grand Slam runs.
The ranking is similar because the same principle applies. Djokovic earned more wins at bigger events which carry more points but there is an added context there. The Serbian also has points from his Astana Open, Tel Aviv Open and ATP Finals triumphs, as well as the Paris Masters final run.
That is a large chunk of points that Djokovic won when Alcaraz didn't compete because of an injury. If he does this year, and he likely will, we might see the young Spaniard snatch the number one away from the Serbian. We'll see in the coming weeks how the battle for number one unfolds.