Alcaraz's Queen's Loss Puts Him Further Away From World No. 1 Spot

Alcaraz's Queen's Loss Puts Him Further Away From World No. 1 Spot

by Nurein Ahmed

Carlos Alcaraz's title defense at the Cinch Championships came to a screeching halt on Thursday as the Spaniard suffered a costly second-round defeat to Jack Draper.

At the start of the grass-court swing, Alcaraz knew he could not overtake close rival Jannik Sinner in the ATP rankings. The Italian rose to world No. 1 for the first time in his career after Roland Garros, ending Novak Djokovic's 428-week reign at the top.

Alcaraz was defending 500 points this week after winning his first grass-court title at Queen's last summer, so he had much to lose. And falling in the second hurdle to the in-form Draper has complicated his goal of becoming World No. 1 again in the near future. Here why:

The 21-year-old has 8130 points in the live rankings and will cascade to World No. 3 on Monday for dropping 450 points at Queen's. Djokovic will return to World No. 2.

Sinner, meanwhile, has 9490 points and can increase the gap on Alcaraz if he progresses beyond the quarterfinals in Halle. The 22-year-old Word No. 1 has successfully defended his points from the same tournament he competed in 12 months ago.

Should the Australian Open champion win the ATP 500 event in Halle, he'll finish the week with 9890 points, extending his lead over Alcaraz to 1760 points.

Since both players are unlikely to play any additional warm-up tournaments before Wimbledon, they'll head to SW19 with that gap intact. Alcaraz is the defending champion of the grass-cour and Grand Slam, which he won last summer by beating Djokovic in a thrilling final.

That accounts for 2000 points that he must defend. When the tournament begins, he will drop those points. That means his tally will stand at 6130. Sinner, who exited Wimbledon in the semifinal stage 12 months ago, only drops 720 points.

His tally will, therefore, read 8770 (not factoring in a potential title win in Halle). The gap between him and Alcaraz will grow to 2640 points. Even in the unlikely scenario that Sinner fails to win a match at Wimbledon and Alcaraz defends the gold trophy in London next month, he won't overturn the lead.

The three-time Grand Slam champion's hopes of reclaiming the No. 1 ranking will become significantly harder after Wimbledon, especially if Sinner continues his irresistible form that he displayed in the first half of the season.


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