Djokovic Overtakes Alcaraz In Olympics Race After Paris Masters Win

Djokovic Overtakes Alcaraz In Olympics Race After Paris Masters Win

by Nurein Ahmed

Novak Djokovic's seventh Paris Masters title had brought a significant shift in the year-end race and the Olympics race as the 2023 season draws to a close.

The World No. 1 defeated in-form Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets to win the 40th Masters 1000 title of his career, which is a record at this tournament level. Djokovic extended his gap at the top of the world rankings to 2,990 points ahead of Carlos Alcaraz.

Djokovic just needs one win at the ATP Finals, which begins Sunday, November 12, to be certain of finishing as the year-end No. 1 for a record-extending eighth time. The Serbian star racked up 1,000 points for his Paris win and overtook Alcaraz in the Olympics race.

The 24-time major champion has now accumulated 5,200 points since mid-June when the Olympics race started accruing points. He is 920 points ahead of second-placed Alcaraz. Djokovic could potentially have one last crack at the Olympic Games where he'll be aiming to complete the only missing accolade on his CV (a gold medal).

Alcaraz will play at the Olympics for the first time. With Rafael Nadal a major doubt to play next year's sporting extravaganza, the 20-year-old is Spain's biggest hope to clinch a medal at the tennis event and has made his intention to team with his compatriot in doubles.

Ben Shelton retains his lead in the Top 10 over fellow Americans Taylor Fritz, Tommy Paul, and Frances Tiafoe. That is now unlikely to change with the quartet having played their final tournament of the season at the Paris Masters.

The USA has quite a formidable team of players in the Top 56 (the cut-off entry), but some good names could miss out because the stipulation is to send only the best four ranked players per nation. So the likes of Sebastian Korda, Christopher Eubanks, and Mackenzie McDonald have plenty to play for in the first half of next season.

Roman Safiullin has risen as high as 23rd in the list and is Russia's third-best player since June. He'll be looking to join top-ranked compatriots Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, provided the International Olympic Committee will lift the ban imposed on Russian and Belarusian athletes due to its invasion of Ukraine.

Australia is another country with as many as four representatives in the Top 56. Aside from Alex de Minaur who is in the Top 10 in the race, the rejuvenated Alexei Popyrin and Jordan Thompson are entrenched in the Top 40. Rinky Hijikata rises to 41st after his semifinal run at the Sydney Challenger last Saturday.

The Paris Olympics tennis competition is scheduled to commence on July 27, 2024, and will run till August 4, 2024, at the iconic Stade Roland Garros.


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