Stefanos Tsitsipas and Aryna Sabalenka can become World No 1’s for the first time at the conclusion of French Open
Grand Slams offer prestige, big prize money and lots of ranking points. No other tournament can lift up a player’s ranking than a major can. Because of that, the No. 1 ranking is often up for grabs during Slams.
It will be the case when French Open gets underway on 28 May with as many as four men and two women in the mix to be the top-ranked player across ATP and WTA rankings.
Four men can leave Roland Garros as World No. 1: Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The fight for the top spot is between the current World No 1, 2, 3 and 5 with World No 4 Casper Ruud, last year’s finalist, out of range even if he wins the title.
Alcaraz took away the top spot from Djokovic after the Italian Open and comes into the French Open with 6,815 points. He is defending 360 points for reaching the quarter-finals last year. Even if he doesn’t play, he will have 6,455 points which would require: Medvedev to do better than the semi-finals, Djokovic the final and Tsitsipas the title.
Those challenges will get tougher if Alcaraz wins more matches. If the Spaniard reaches the fourth round, he pushes Tsitsipas out of reckoning. If the 20-year-old reaches the quarter-finals or semi-finals, Medvedev would have to make the final and Djokovic would have to win the title.
Note: Alcaraz and Djokovic are defending quarter-final points from last year’s French Open and Medvedev, Tsitsipas are defending fourth round and points from grass court events the week after (’s-Hertogenbosch and Stuttgart).
Only two women can leave Roland Garros as the top ranked player in the world. One is the current highest ranked player: Iga Swiatek. This is the first tournament that her top ranking is on the line since being handed the crown last year by a retiring Ashleigh Barty.
Swiatek, the reigning champion, is defending all of the 2000 points she had bagged last year. She starts with 8,940 points but effectively is on 6,940 points due to the challenge of defending her title.
Sabalenka, meanwhile, currently has 7,541 points. She is defending third round points from last year’s French Open and final points from ’s-Hertogenbosch the week after. So, she enters with 7,232 points.
It puts Australian Open and Madrid Open champion Sabalenka, in a better position of becoming the World No 1.
As things stand, Swiatek needs to at least reach the quarter-finals just to have a chance of retaining her top ranking. If Sabalenka reaches the fourth round of quarter-finals, Swiatek will have to reach at least the semi-finals. If the Belarusian Sabalenka reaches the semi-finals, Swiatek would have to play the title match. And, in the end, if Sabalenka makes the final, Swiatek would have to successfully defend her title.
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