Alcaraz jumps Djokovic, returns to number one in ATP rankings
Paris: Carlos Alcaraz replaced Novak Djokovic at No. 1 in the ATP rankings, earning the top seeding at the French Open, and Daniil Medvedev’s Italian Open title moved him up to No. 2 ahead of the year’s second Grand Slam tournament.
Djokovic’s loss in the fourth round as the defending champion in Rome dropped him to No. 3. That means he and Alcaraz could end up in the same half of the Roland Garros bracket and be set up for a potential semifinal showdown, depending on what happens in Thursday’s draw in Paris.
The French Open, which begins on Sunday, will mark the first chance to be seeded No. 1 at a major tournament for Alcaraz, a Spaniard who turned 20 this month. He is 30-3 with four titles in 2023. Alcaraz ascended to the ATP’s top spot for the first time by winning the U.S. Open last September and, at 19, became the youngest man to finish a year there. But a leg injury kept him out of the Australian Open in January, when Djokovic won the title for his 22nd at a Slam event, tying Rafael Nadal for the men’s record.
Djokovic has spent more weeks at No. 1 than anyone man or woman in the history of the sport’s computerized rankings. Iga Swiatek, the defending champion in Paris, remained at No. 1 in the WTA rankings, which she has led for more than a year, followed by No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion.
Swiatek stopped playing in the third set of her quarterfinal in Rome against reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina because of a hurt right thigh. Swiatek said afterward the problem “shouldn’t be anything serious.”
Rybakina’s trophy at the Italian Open allowed her to jump two places to a career-best No. 4 on Monday. She is not higher than that because her title at the All England Club did not come with the benefit of any rankings boost after both the WTA and ATP withheld all points that would have been earned there last year to protest a ban on Russian and Belarusian players over the invasion of Ukraine. Jessica Pegula remained at No. 3 on Monday, with WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia at No. 5 and 2022 French Open runner-up Coco Gauff at No. 6. Casper Ruud, last year’s runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the French Open and to Alcaraz at the U.S. Open, stayed at No. 4 in the ATP rankings, followed by Stefanos Tsitsipas at No. 5 and Holger Rune at a career-best No. 6.
Rune eliminated Djokovic in Rome before losing to Medvedev in the final there on Sunday. That marked Medvedev’s 20th career ATP title and first on clay courts.
Nadal, who has 14 of his 22 major trophies at Roland Garros, announced last week he would be sitting out the French Open with a lingering left hip flexor