Novak Djokovic handed huge boost as Carlos Alcaraz crashes out of Paris Masters

The young Spaniard has left the tennis world stunned ahead of of the ATP Finals.

Roman Safiullin and Carlos Alcaraz shake hands and Alcaraz walks out.
Carlos Alcaraz (pictured right) has suffered a shock loss in the Paris Masters round of 64. (Images: @TennisTV/Getty Images)

Carlos Alcaraz has suffered a shock first round defeat at the Paris Masters leaving his hopes of usurping Novak Djokovic for the year-end No.1 title in tatters. Djokovic was heading into the Paris and ATP Finals tournaments with a 500 point lead over the young tennis sensation.

The two were filmed sharing a hit and a chat in Paris ahead of the tournament, but Alcaraz has made it no secret he wants to finished as the year-end No.1. However, the Wimbledon champ has seen his chances of overtaking Djokovic dwindle after his sensational loss to Roman Safiullin in straight sets in Paris.

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Djokovic will need to reach the finals in Paris to maintain his points after losing to Holger Rune last year. A Djokovic victory in Paris would see him end the year as World No.1.

The current World No.1 does have to make a push in both tournaments to secure the title with 1,500 points available in Turin. Alcaraz has struggled with form since the US Open with a number of early defeats impacting his season.

The 21-year-old suffered a shock loss to Grigor Dimitrov in Shanghai, before he withdrew from the Swiss Indoors tournament due to injury. Djokovic was taking a break after his US Open triumph, before competing in the Davis Cup win over Spain.

Novak Djokovic shares a laugh with Carlos Alcaraz.
Novak Djokovic (pictured right) is now firmly in command of who will finish as the year-end World No.1 after Carlos Alcaraz's (pictured left) defeat in Paris. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) (Matthew Stockman via Getty Images)

Djokovic's time away from the tour handed Alcaraz a chance to make-up ground in the race. Although the Spaniard had faltered. And fans were left stunned at Alcaraz's recent form having now lost in the round of 32 and round of 64 in back-to-back tournaments.

Safiullin has now defeated Alcaraz, Alexander Zverev and Andy Murray all in the past few weeks to continue his brilliant form towards the end of the season.

Carlos Alcaraz backs year-end No.1 charge

Alcaraz had the opportunity to gain ranking points on Djokovic at the China Open and in Shanghai. But the Spaniard lost to Jannik Sinner in the quarter-final in China and Dimitrov a stage earlier. He has remained upbeat about taking over Djokovic, but it is now down to how the Serbian performs in Paris and Turin.

Alcaraz had spoken in Paris ahead of the tournament about his desire to win back the title after the ATP Finals. "Obviously it's on my mind. I said, I practice with a goal, I practice to be a better player. And I practice to find a way to beat him," Alcaraz said to Eurosport this week.

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