Alcaraz Takes Early Lead Over Djokovic In Olympics Race Qualification

Alcaraz Takes Early Lead Over Djokovic In Olympics Race Qualification

by Nurein Ahmed

Last updated

Carlos Alcaraz is the early pacesetter in the Olympics Race for the men's singles tennis event in Paris next year.

The tennis tournament at the Paris Olympics is scheduled to commence on July 27, 2024, and will run till August 4, 2024, at the iconic Stade Roland Garros. It will be the first Olympic event played on clay since 1992 in Barcelona.

The singles event will be contested by 64 players, 56 of whom will qualify based on actual rankings on June 12, 2024. This means that the Paris Olympics race started accruing points on June 12, 2023.

Contrary to controversial claims that many players don't prioritize the Olympics, the top players have made it their goal to be there next year.

Alcaraz has earned 4,270 points since mid-June and tops the list ahead of Novak Djokovic, a bronze medalist from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The 20-year-old is due to play at the Olympic Games for the first time in 2024 and will look to follow in the footsteps of countryman and childhood idol Rafael Nadal in winning a gold medal.

Alcaraz is also a candidate to be Spain's flag bearer as two-time gold medalist Nadal's participation at the event next year is in doubt due to ITF rules. Djokovic, meanwhile, will have one last crack at the gold, the only missing accolade in his distinguished career.

It will be six rounds to the ultimate prize. Each country can qualify up to 12 athletes, six per gender. But only four can represent them in the singles draw. So for instance, in the current race, the USA has nine players in the Top 56 in the race to Paris, but only the best-ranked will qualify.

At the moment, these are Taylor Fritz, Tommy Paul, Ben Shelton, and Sebastian Korda. Daniil Medvedev is fourth on the list, but he'll be sweating on the International Olympic Committee's decision on whether they will lift the ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing at the Olympic Games.

Defending champion Alexander Zverev ranks fifth, while former World No. 1 Andy Murray will be gunning for an unprecedented third gold medal at the Olympics, as he is currently the second-highest ranked Brit in the early race.


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