ATP French Open Winners and Losers: Carlos Alcaraz triumphs, Jannik Sinner gets No 1 – but it’s heartbreak for Novak Djokovic

Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner
Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner are the big winners from the French Open.

This was meant to be the most ‘open’ of French Open men’s singles draws.

But, in many ways, it was far from a surprising event.

Carlos Alcaraz was a predictable champion, Alexander Zverev a predictable runner-up, and the change at the very top of the rankings that many thought would happen did happen.

There were still plenty of talking points from Roland Garros, though, with plenty of players likely to be pleased with their efforts, while a few will rue missing a golden chance.

We look at the winners and losers from the men’s singles draw.

Big Winners

Carlos Alcaraz: The Spaniard is back up to world No 2 after becoming the youngest man to complete the ‘Surface Slam.’ Alcaraz wanted a French Open title more than anything else, and it is difficult to see him not winning more Paris titles.

Jannik Sinner: Despite looking fatigued in his semi-final loss, Sinner is a deserved new world No 1 on the ATP – the first Italian ever to top the singles rankings. It will be hard to usurp him from the top, and he and Alcaraz are clear Wimbledon favourites.

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Grigor Dimitrov: Reaching a first French Open quarter-final aged 33 is no mean feat, and the Bulgarian continued his fine recent form on a surface he has never really loved. Watch out for him on the grass courts.

Alex de Minaur: Another player who has never loved clay before this year but impressed on his way to a second Grand Slam quarter-final. The Australian is having the year of his life and, much like Dimitrov, will be a huge grass-court threat this summer.

Corentin Moutet: Moutet flew the French flag in a pretty disappointing men’s event for home players. The mercurial talent captured the imagination of his watching public and did himself proud with a run to the second week.

Big Losers

Novak Djokovic: The Serbian is down to world No 3 in the ATP Rankings and faces an uphill battle to make Wimbledon and the Olympics this summer after his meniscus injury. A tough blow for the all-time great at this stage of his career.

Alexander Zverev: Fourth seed Zverev reached the final, but once again spurned a golden opportunity by playing passive, unconvincing tennis in the final two sets against Alcaraz. His mental struggles at Slams – and ongoing off-court controversy – leave questions to answer.

Stefanos Tsitsipas: The Greek looks as far away as ever from winning a Slam, unable to transition his strong clay court form into a deep run. Tsitsipas is now 0-6 against Alcaraz and it is hard to see how he can do enough to turn this around – and win a major.

Andrey Rublev: Sixth seed Rublev was the first big early casualties and while his loss to Matteo Arnaldi was disappointing, his complete mental capitulation was alarming. The Madrid champion seems unable to consistently control his emotions.

Casper Ruud: Another player whose Grand Slam chance may have gone begging after stomach issues hampered him in a semi-final loss to Zverev. The Norwegian will always be a threat on clay, but can he match Alcaraz or Sinner?

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Winner….and Loser?

Rafael Nadal: A round-one exit felt far from fitting for a man who has dominated a Grand Slam event like no one else. Nadal, however, did not conclusively rule out a Roland Garros return; will he be back for a more satisfactory farewell next season?

Holger Rune: Danish star Rune has again dropped slightly down the rankings after his round four loss, failing to defend quarter-final points – but there was enough life from him at this event to suggest he is turning a corner.