Djokovic can have ‘problems’ with new young rival in threat to end of year goal

Novak Djokovic’s coach has confessed that another young star could cause “problems” for the world No 1 as the season nears its end. Goran Ivanisevic named Jannik Sinner as one of the threats to Djokovic’s dominance alongside Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev. And Sinner could well derail the end of Djokovic’s season as he is playing the Paris Masters and ATP Finals – and is a potential roadblock to Serbia’s Davis Cup hopes.

Djokovic has enjoyed another dominant season on the tour, winning three of the four Grand Slam titles and returning to the top of the rankings. The 36-year-old has lost just five matches so far this year with Alcaraz and Medvedev being two of the players to trouble him.

The Spaniard handed the world No 1 his first loss on Wimbledon’s Centre Court in a decade when they met in this year’s final and Djokovic’s coach believes that Alcaraz is currently the Serb’s biggest rival. But he thought another rising star could cause trouble for the 24-time Major champion.

“It will stay that way,” Ivanisevic told Sportske, putting Alcaraz at the top of their list of rivals. “There are other good tennis players, especially Daniil Medvedev, and Novak’s big opponent could be the Italian Jannik Sinner, who also knows how to get into a crisis, but it seems that he absolutely does not suit Alcaraz, and Novak could also have problems with him.”

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While the Croat thought that Sinner had established himself as a competitor to Djokovic, he still backed his man to remain above the rest of the pack. Ivanisevic added: “Although it is actually too difficult a word and as long as the relations in men’s tennis are like this, it is difficult to see someone who could compete with Djokovic for a position in the world rankings for a long time.”

While Sinner might not be one to challenge Djokovic for the No 1 spot, the Italian could cause chaos as the season nears its end. Both men are entered in the Paris Masters and Sinner has also qualified for the ATP Finals for the first time, meaning he will join reigning champion Djokovic at the season-ending championships.

Italy is also through to the Davis Cup Finals and Sinner has already been named in the squad. If Serbia and Italy win their respective quarter-finals, they can meet in the semi-final. 

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At No 1 and No 4 in the world, Djokovic and Sinner are the highest-ranked players competing in next month’s Davis Cup Finals. And Sinner’s team will have a good shot at ending Djokovic’s hopes of winning the Davis Cup for his nation. 

Italy’s team also comprises the world Nos 22, 46 and 52 in Lorenzo Musetti, Matteo Arnaldi and Lorenzo Sonego, plus top 50 doubles star Simone Bolleli. Serbia will be represented by Djokovic alongside world No 36 Laslo Djere, top 60 stars Dusan Lajovic and Miomir Kecmanovic, and No 107 Hamad Medjedovic. 

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