Carlos Alcaraz Earns No. 1 Seed at Wimbledon

Carlos Alcaraz is heading into the All England Club as the top seed…

The 20-year-old Spanish tennis player, not four-time defending champion Novak Djokovic was seeded No. 1 for Wimbledon on Wednesday, as expected, because the All England Club adhered to the ATP and WTA rankings.

Carlos AlcarazAlcaraz overtook Djokovic atop the men’s standings on Monday. Djokovic hasn’t played since collecting his men’s record 23rd Grand Slam title at the French Open on June 11 and slid to No. 2, while Alcaraz rose one spot after winning a grass-court tuneup tournament at Queen’s Club on Sunday.

Djokovic has won the championship at Wimbledon each of the past four times it was held — and seven times overall — but he did not benefit from a ranking boost in 2022 because the ATP and WTA withheld all points to protest the All England Club’s decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus because of the invasion of Ukraine.

Those athletes are allowed to compete this year, and Russian player Daniil Medvedev is seeded No. 3 in the men’s field.

The draw to set up the singles brackets will be Friday. The tournament begins Monday.

Casper Ruud is No. 4 of the 32 men’s seeds, followed by Stefanos TsitsipasHolger RuneJannik SinnerTaylor Fritz and Frances TiafoeNick Kyrgios, the runner-up to Djokovic at Wimbledon a year ago, is seeded 31st.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is ranked 39th and is not seeded.

Swiatek has been ranked No. 1 since April 2022 and owns four Grand Slam titles, most recently at the French Open. She has never been past the fourth round at Wimbledon.

In the women’s field, Iga Swiatek is the No. 1 seed, while Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.

Elena Rybakina, the 2022 women’s champion at the All England Club, is No. 3 among the women’s 32 seeds, followed by Jessica PegulaCaroline Garcia, Ons Jabeur, Coco Gauff, Maria Sakkari, two-time champion Petra Kvitova and Barbora Krejcikova.

From 2002 to 2019, the All England Club based its seedings for the men’s draw on a formula that took into account results on grass at Wimbledon and elsewhere. But after that, the tournament opted to simply follow the rankings to determine all seeds.

Carlos Alcaraz Returns to No. 1 in ATP World Rankings, Expected to Earn No. 1 Seed at Wimbledon

Carlos Alcaraz is officially back on top…

The 20-year-old Spanish tennis player has replaced Novak Djokovic at No. 1 in the ATP rankings, meaning he’s expected to have the top seeding at Wimbledon.

Carlos AlcarazAlcaraz, the reigning US Open champion, is coming off the first grass-court title of his career, which he won on Sunday by beating Alex De Minaur in the final at Queen’s Club in London, and that helped him rise one spot from No. 2.

Djokovic, who picked up his men’s-record 23rd Grand Slam title at the French Open this month, chose not to play any tune-up tournaments on grass ahead of Wimbledon and slid down one place.

It is the sixth time the No. 1 ranking has switched in 2023, the most since it happened seven times in 2018.

Play begins at Wimbledon on Monday, July 3.

The All England Club will announce the men’s and women’s seeds Wednesday and is expected to simply follow the ATP and WTA rankings for those 32 berths in each 128-player singles draw. That would put Alcaraz and the leading woman, Iga Swiatek, in the top line of each bracket.

Swiatek remained at No. 1 — as she has for every week since first climbing to that position in April 2022 — on Monday, a little more than two weeks after she won the French Open for the third time. Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka kept her hold on No. 2, and defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina is at No. 3. Jessica Pegula moved up to No. 4, switching with new No. 5 Caroline Garcia.

Wimbledon’s seedings used to be based on a formula that took into account players’ recent success there and at other events contested on grass courts. But with only the rankings mattering now, there is the unusual situation of even last year’s results at the All England Club not mattering — because the ATP and WTA chose to withhold all rankings points that would have been earned at Wimbledon in 2022 to protest the club’s decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus over the invasion of Ukraine.

That war continues, but the club is allowing Russians and Belarusians to compete this time.

Djokovic has won Wimbledon each of the past four times it was held — in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022; the tournament was canceled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic — and seven times in all.

“I mean, Novak is the main favorite to win Wimbledon. That’s obvious,” Alcaraz said. “But I will try to play at this level, to have chances to beat him or make the final at Wimbledon.”

If they are indeed seeded Nos. 1 and 2, Alcaraz and Djokovic could meet only in the championship match on July 16. At Roland Garros, Alcaraz was the No. 1 seed at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time; Djokovic was No. 3, and they were drawn to meet in the semifinals. The first two sets were terrific, but then Alcaraz faded because of full-body cramps he attributed, at least in part, to tension, and Djokovic took the last two sets 6-1, 6-1 on the way to the trophy.

There was no other major change in the men’s rankings Monday, with Daniil Medvedev still at No. 3, followed by Casper Ruud at No. 4 and Stefanos Tsitsipas at No. 5. Taylor Fritz, who is from California, and Frances Tiafoe, who is from Maryland, were at Nos. 9-10, remaining the first pair of American men in the top 10 in more than a decade.

Leylah Fernandez Reaches First-Ever Grand Slam Final in Doubles at French Open

Leylah Fernandez is thisclose to a first Grand Slam title…

The 20-year-old half-Ecuadorian Canadian professional tennis player and her women’s doubles partner Taylor Townsend, the No. 10 sends at the French Open, needed only 64 minutes to book their place in a first Grand Slam final together, defeating No. 2 seeds Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula 6-0, 6-4 at Roland Garros.

Leylah Fernandez, Taylor TownsendFor Fernandez, the 2021 US Open runner-up in singles, the result marks her first Grand Slam final in doubles.

Townsend advances to her second major final, having been runner-up alongside Caty McNally at last year’s US Open to Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova. French Open

They will face unseeded Hsieh Su-Wei and Wang Xinyu for the title, after they upset No. 6 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez in the other semifinal, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

They will face unseeded Hsieh Su-Wei and Wang Xinyu for the title, after they upset No. 6 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez in the other semifinal, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

The Canadian-American duo first teamed up at Indian Wells in March, and their record together now stands at 14-4.

The defeat of Gauff and Pegula reverses the result of the Miami final, which the all-American team won 7-6 (6), 6-2.

Townsend also exacted a measure of revenge for last year’s Roland Garros semifinals, which – partnered with Madison Keys — she lost 6-4, 7-6(4) to Gauff and Pegula.

“I’m just honestly so proud of how we were able to play and perform,” Townsend said afterwards. “I told Leylah after the match, ‘This is what we have been building towards over the past couple of months.’ From where we started as a team and just figuring each other out to now, understanding each other so well and being able to play such great, consistent tennis/

“Especially I’m really proud of how we were able to kind of put our last result behind us. We lost to Jess and Coco in the finals in Miami, and we were able to learn from it, detach from the result, and then just understand and take what we learned in that match and apply it into this one. I’m so proud of like how we were able to stay focused and committed to what we were doing on our side of the net and not worry about what they were doing.

“I’m so proud, but, you know, work is not done. We’ve still got one more. You know, this match, I’m sure for Leylah, as well, this match has made me even more hungry to hold the winning trophy.”

Beatriz Haddad Maia & Victoria Azarenka Claim Women’s Doubles Title at Madrid Open

Beatriz Haddad Maia is celebrating a winning debut…

In their maiden tournament as a team, the 26-year-old Brazilian tennis player and Victoria Azarenka defeated top seeds Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday to capture the women’s doubles title at the Mutua Madrid Open.

Beatriz Haddad Maia & Victoria Azarenka  The victory capped off a stellar week for the unseeded duo, who toppled two of the Top 3 seeds to win their first tournament together.

Madrid is Haddad Maia’s fifth career doubles title and the biggest title of her career. She was previously a two-time runner-up at the WTA 1000 level, including at Indian Wells this spring with Laura Siegemund.

The title is Azarenka’s 10th doubles title and fifth at the WTA 1000 level. It is her biggest win on the doubles court since teaming with Ashleigh Barty to win Rome in 2019.

Beatriz Haddad Maia & Victoria AzarenkaIn their team debut at Madrid, Azarenka and Haddad Maia ousted No.3 seeds and Stuttgart champions Desirae Krawczyk and Demis Schuurs in their opening round and went to defeat Paula Badosa/Bethanie Mattek Sands and Leylah Fernandez/Taylor Townsend en route to the final.

Facing down No.1 seeds Gauff and Pegula, who were bidding to win their third title of the season after Doha and Miami, Azarenka and Haddad Maia raced away in the opening to pocket it 6-1. The American team bounced back to lead 4-2 in the second set but Azarenka and Haddad Maia roared back to win the last four games of the match.

After breaking Pegula’s serve to close level the set at 4-4, the eventual champions closed out the win by dominating play at the net and breaking Gauff’s serve in the final game.

Caroline Garcia & Teammate Kristina Mladenovic Earn Second French Open Women’s Doubles Title

Six years later, Caroline Garcia is once again a French Open women’s doubles champion…

The 28-year-old part-Spanish French player and her compatriot Kristina Mladenovic produced an impressive comeback in the French Open women’s doubles final to lift their first team title since 2016.

Caroline Garcia, French Open, Roland Garros, Kristina MladenovicIn the French Open women’s doubles final, home favorites Garcia and Mladenovic recovered from a slow start to beat USA’s Cori Gauff and Jessica Pegula 2-6 6-3 6-2.

Garcia and Mladenovic, who lifted their first Grand Slam team title at Roland Garros in 2016, have now won their fifth team title. In 2016, Garcia and Mladenovic lifted four team titles. Six years after winning their first Grand Slam title as a pair, Garcia and Mladenovic teamed up again at Roland Garros.

Garcia and Mladenovic made it all the way once again and now they are 12-0 as a pair at Roland Garros.

Garcia and Mladenovic had the first break points of the match but they missed out on a total of five break points in the second game.

Garcia and Mladenovic paid the price for not closing in on their break points chances as Gauff and Pegula claimed the first break of the match in the third game to open a 2-1 lead. Garcia and Mladenovic missed out on two more break points in the sixth game, before Gauff and Pegula earned their second break in the seventh game to open a 5-2 lead.

In the eighth game, Gauff and Pegula routinely served out for the first set. After losing the first set, Garcia and Mladenovic bounced back at the start of the second set as they claimed back-to-back breaks and opened a 4-0 lead.

Gauff and Pegula refused to quit as they responded with back-to-back breaks and cut the deficit to 3-4. Blowing a two-break lead didn’t impact Garcia and Mladenovic, who earned their third break of the set in the eighth game, before serving out for a decider in the following game.

Gauff and Pegula were visibly down after losing the second set as Garcia and Mladenovic took the advantage of it and opened a 4-0 lead in the third set. Two breaks of serve were more than enough for Garcia and Mladenovic as they served out the eighth game to complete a big comeback win.

Leylah Fernandez to Compete at This Year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals

Leylah Fernandez is gearin’ up for a special cup

The 19-year-old half-Ecuadorian Canadian tennis sensation and U.S. Open finalist is among the players named to the 12 teams at next month’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

Leylah Fernandez

Fernandez will play for Canada in the competition.

But she isn’t the only Latina set to play in the Cup.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza will play for Spain along with Carla Suarez Navarro.

Meanwhile, Caroline Garcia is set to play for defending champion France, alongside her teammates Alize Cornet and Fiona Ferro, who were all part of the  group that won the event in 2019. The 2020 edition was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Matches will be played in Prague on Nov. 1-6.

The host Czech Republic will be led by 2021 French Open singles and doubles champion Barbora Krejcikova.

She is joined by Marketa Vondrousova, the 2019 French Open runner-up and the 2020 Tokyo Games singles silver medalist, and Katerina Siniakova, who was Krejcikova’s doubles partner for three Grand Slam doubles titles and a gold medal at the Summer Games.

Sloane Stephens is joined by Jessica PegulaDanielle Collins, CoCo Vandeweghe and Caroline Dolehide on the U.S. roster.