Juan Carlos Ferrero wants Novak Djokovic to be present at the biggest tournaments in order to help Carlos Alcaraz further develop his game. The young Spaniard ended the 2022 season as the world number one after starting the year as the world number 32.

Alcaraz claimed his maiden Grand Slam triumph at the US Open in New York. It was in the absence of Djokovic, who was banned from entering the United States owing to his unvaccinated status. Despite missing two majors, the Serb had a phenomenal 2022 campaign.

Djokovic claimed wins at Wimbledon, Rome, Tel Aviv and Astana before going on to clinch a record equalling sixth ATP Finals crown in Turin without losing a match. The former world number one will be back in Australia when the 2023 campaign starts after his ban was lifted.

Carlos Alcaraz
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates after winning against Serbia's Novak Djokovic Pierre-Philippe MARCOU/AFP

Ferrero welcomed Djokovic's return and is looking forward to his charge facing the nine-time Australian Open winner in Melbourne. The Spaniard feels winning the Australian Open always carries more weight if you overcome the Serb, who is the most successful player at the tournament.

"We need him," Ferraro told Reem Abulleil for Eurosport, referring to Djokovic.

"I think for Carlos to improve his tennis he needs to play against one of the best in the history. Of course Rafa [Nadal] is there to play against him and Novak, we need him."

"Carlos and I were talking about that we're happy to see Novak there because if you want to win the Australian Open you have to win against the best, and of course it's good news."

Djokovic will be the favourite at the first Grand Slam of the year in Australia not only because of his record in Melbourne, but also his red hot form to end the 2022 season. The 21-time men's singles Grand Slam winner made the finals in his last four events, winning three in dominant fashion.

"I think after the US Open, which he couldn't play, he was very focused to show himself that he is able to win almost everything that he played, we saw again that he's able to do it," Ferrero added.

Novak Djokovic
Joining daddy at work: Novak Djokovic celebrates his ATP Finals title with his son AFP / Marco BERTORELLO