Djokovic confirmed his absence at this year's Asian swing after a grueling hard-court summer in the United States. His decision to play the Davis Cup just a few days after winning the US Open probably affected his schedule.
Despite missing key events in China and his title defense in Kazakhstan, it was impossible for him to lose the No. 1 ranking. The best-case scenario for Alcaraz was to reduce arrears. He's done so by virtue of reaching the semifinal in Beijing and benefitting from Djokovic dropping points from Tel Aviv where he won the title last year.
For context, Tel Aviv has been moved to the closing weeks of this year's calendar. So the gap between the top two is now down to 2,830. The biggest mover in the world's Top 10 is Jannik Sinner who rises three spots to a career-high ranking of World No. 4.
Sinner defeated Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev in back-to-back matches to win the 500-level title at the China Open. The 22-year-old Italian is now within touching distance of the ATP Finals spots. Two players inside the world's Top 20 have also jumped to new career-high marks.
These are Alex de Minaur and Tommy Paul. De Minaur is up to 11th, becoming the highest-ranked Australian Open since July 2006, while New Jersey native Paul is in 12th, climbing above Frances Tiafoe. France's Adrian Mannarino is on the doorstep of a Top 20 breakthrough at the age of 35.
The Frenchman collected the ATP 250 in Astana with a stunning comeback win over Sebastian Korda in the final. It's his second title of the season a massive climb to 23rd in the latest rankings. Canada's Denis Shapovalov hasn't played since Wimbledon due to injury and is set for a huge drop in the rankings.
Shapovalov has fallen outside the world's Top 30 this week and defends the bulk of his ranking points in the closing two months of the season. Elsewhere, Matteo Arnaldi continues his ascent on the ATP ladder. The 22-year-old from Sanremo is up to a career-high No. 42 and is Italy's No. 3 player.
There is a Top 50 debut for Austria's Sebastian Ofner who backed up his quarterfinal run at the St. Tropez Challenger with a semifinal finish in Astana. At the same tournament, fellow countryman Dominic Thiem managed to win back-to-back matches for just the third time on the ATP Tour this season.
Thiem's quarterfinal run in Kazakhstan's only Tour-level tournament enabled him to climb nine places to 72nd - his best ranking in over a year. British lefty Jack Draper, a headline-maker following Great Britain's qualification into the Davis Cup Final 8, re-entered the Top 100 for the first time in six weeks.
Draper was a runner-up at the Orleans Challenger last weekend - his first final at that level since April 2022. He is in 92nd spot this week where he is also playing another Challenger tournament in France. The biggest rise in the Top 100 is that of Tomas Machac who defeated Draper in Orleans.
The Czech cracks the centurion club for just the second time in his career and rises to a new best ranking of 96th. You can visit our dedicated rankings page to view all the latest changes in this week's ATP standings.