How blockbuster Carlos Alcaraz vs Novak Djokovic French Open semifinal clash will decide battle for World No. 1 crown

Jun 09, 2023 11:22 AM IST

Four players had set out at the start of the fortnight in Paris to claim the ATP World No.1 crown. It now boils down two players - Alcaraz and Djokovic

Four players had set out at the start of the fortnight in Paris to claim the ATP World No.1 crown - Carlos Alcaraz, the incumbent title holder, Novak Djokovic, who held the crown for the record longest time in men's singles tennis, former No.1 Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. As the 2023 French Open reaches the penultimate round, only two players are left in the battle - Alcaraz and Djokovic - and given that the two have set up a blockbuster semifinal clash on Stade Roland Garros on Friday, the match is set to decide the fate of the battle for the ATP World No.1 crown.

(L) Spain's Carlos Alcaraz Garfia, and (R) Serbia's Novak Djokovic(AFP)
(L) Spain's Carlos Alcaraz Garfia, and (R) Serbia's Novak Djokovic(AFP)

If Alcaraz beats Djokovic, for the second time in his career, he is certain to remain the World No.1 irrespective of the result in the final. If Djokovic manages to avenge his 2022 Madrid Open defeat to the 20-year-old, he will still have to lift the French Open title for a third time in his career to guarantee himself a return to the top spot in the ATP rankings come Monday.

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ALSO READ: French Open semifinal: Where the blockbuster match can be won by Carlos Alcaraz against Novak Djokovic

Presently on 7175 points, Alcaraz will reach 7655 points with a semifinal win which is enough to give him the edge over the Serb no matter the result in the final. A title win in his case will only further consolidate his hold heading into Wimbledon. With Djokovic on 6315 points, after successfully defended his points from 2022 runs where he had suffered a quarterfinal exit at the hands of eventual champion Rafael Nadal, a win against Alcaraz will only take him to 6795 points, still 380 points short of what Alcaraz will have after the semifinal loss. Hence, only a win (7595 points) can guarantee him that spot.

No other player in the other half of the draw now has a chance to affect the race between Alcaraz and Djokovic. The next best is World No.5 Casper Ruud, who reached his second consecutive semis after a win against Holger Rune, with 4480 points. He can maximum reach 5760 points with a maiden Grand Slam win, which will take him to the fourth spot in the ranking.

Meanwhile, there is also a three-way battle to the ATP Finals in Turin where Medvedev leads the race with 4310 points. Second-place Alcaraz can climb to the top spot with a semi-final win while Djokovic, now third, can take the top spot with a title triumph.

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