ATP Rankings: Why Novak Djokovic is a safe bet to remain world No 1 until Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz have played musical chairs when it comes to the world No 1 ranking in recent weeks, but the former has all but wrapped up top spot in the ATP Rankings until the French Open.

The No 1 ranking has already changed hands three times this year as Djokovic replaced Alcaraz at the top after winning the Australian Open before the Spaniard returned to No 1 on the back of his success at the Indian Wells Open.

However, Djokovic started his eighth stint as No 1 on Monday after Alcaraz failed to successfully defend his Miami Open title, handing the Serbian a 380-point lead at the top.

With Alcaraz withdrawing from the Monte Carlo Masters due to injury, it means Djokovic will likely remain top until at least Roland Garros. He is also practically assured of being the top seed at the 2023 French Open as the cutoff date for seedings is May 15.

State of play in the ATP Rankings

Djokovic has 7,160 ranking points while Alcaraz is on 6,780 and the former will kick off his clay-court season at the Monte Carlo Masters with Alcaraz now confirmed absent.

After that Djokovic will head to Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the Srpska Open and Alcaraz, if he is fit, will play in Barcelona before both return to Spain for the Madrid Open. The Italian Open will mark the final warm-up event before Roland Garros.

How many points is Djokovic defending up until French Open?

Djokovic, short of match practice after missing the Australian swing and Sunshine Double due to his unvaccinated status, lost in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters last year so he has virtually no points to defend in the Principality.

He then played in the ATP 250 Serbian Open and finished runner-up to Andrey Rublev before losing in the semi-final of the Madrid Open. The Serbian concluded his French Open preparation by winning the Italian Open.

Monte Carlo – 10 points
Belgrade – 150 points
Madrid – 360 points
Rome – 1,000 points

In total he has 1,520 points to defend over the next couple of months, but you would expect him to have extended runs in Monte Carlo and Madrid this year.

How many points is Alcaraz defending up until French Open?

Alcaraz also lost in the second round in Monte Carlo last year, but he then went all the way at the Barcelona Open to pick up a shiny trophy and 500 points.

He followed it up by winning the Madrid Open, defeating the top three seeds in Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Rafael Nadal, and with it came 1,000 points. The teenager then skipped the Italian Open due to injury.

Monte Carlo – 10 points
Barcelona – 500 points
Madrid – 1,000 points
Rome – 0

Alcaraz thus has 1,510 points to defend until the French Open so he faces an impossible task as he won’t pick up any points in Monte Carlo and he will have to successfully defend his titles in Barcelona and Madrid to have any chance.

The Spaniard will in all likelihood have to win in Rome to have any chance of reclaiming top spot – although Djokovic may well have wrapped up the No 1 ranking for the French Open by then.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is currently third in the ATP Rankings and 1,390 points behind Djokovic, but the Greek is defending 2,050 points up until the French Open. He won the Monte Carlo Masters last year (1,000 points), reached the quarter-final in Barcelona (90 points), the semi-final in Madrid (360 points) and finished runner-up to Djokovic in Rome (600).

READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz keen to play Novak Djokovic at his peak – ‘When he’s 100 percent, he’s the best’