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.
Alcaraz, 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.