Novak Djokovic was ousted from the Australian Open unexpectedly early in 2024. To be fair, anytime Djokovic is ousted in Melbourne at all is a bit of a shock. But the ATP No. 1 looked nowhere near his normal form. He started to not look like his normal self as recently as November. There is a real question about how many more Grand Slams Djokovic will win, if any.
He seemed as baffled as anyone in how he played in the Australian Open semifinal against eventual champion Jannik Sinner. Sinner dominated the first two sets and won in four. If you didn't know which player was which, you might assume the red-headed player was Djokovic.
Djokovic is not giving up, however. Not yet. In fact, he appears to have confirmed he will be playing the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells in March. His official website has Indian Wells listed for his schedule. Djokovic has won the event five times, but he has not played the tournament since 2019. He likely wants a bunch of rankings points from that tournament that runs from March 4 through 17.
Novak Djokovic set to play while events really want Andy Murray
Andy Murray might not be winning any tournaments in recent years, but that does not mean that tournaments do not want him to play. In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Win or lose, events actively want Murray to be involved. According to Open 13 director Jean-Francois Caujolle, Murray still gets butts in the seats and eyeballs on the screen and would rather have Murray than players ranked from 15 to 20, or, specifically, ATP No. 11 Alex de Minaur.
Caujolle told La Provence, "Andy Murray, like Matteo Berrettini and even Denis Shapovalov, these are names. They have a quality of play, a presence. Having Murray is nice, it’s great. Murray is worth more than a 15th or 20th in the world that the general public doesn’t know. Between Murray and Alex De Minaur, I prefer to have Murray. He’s a guy you put on prime time." Nice for Murray but an ouch to de Minaur.
Is Carlos Alcaraz "light years" from Jannik Sinner?
To be fair, Paolo Bertolucci's point of view might be one-sided. He is Italian and Jannik Sinner is Italian. Bertolucci probably wants Sinner to win more than he wants Carlos Alcaraz to win tournaments. But while praising Alcaraz and saying that the Spaniard had an "incredible technical background," Bertolucci also slammed Alcaraz.
In fact, Bertolucci's full thought was, "In my opinion, Alcaraz has an incredible technical background, even physically, but mentally he is light years away from Sinner." Goodness. Light years are a long time. Maybe, based on Bertolucci's opinion, Alcaraz can catch up to Sinner in the year 45,293.