Sinner In Pole Position To Become New World No. 1 By June

Sinner In Pole Position To Become New World No. 1 By June

by Nurein Ahmed

Jannik Sinner's best start to a season could have a major flashpoint at the end of the clay-court swing.

Sinner enjoyed an undefeated streak lasting 16 matches in the first quarter of the season. He won his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open, ending a near-half-century wait for an Italian man to achieve this milestone.

And in his first tournament as Grand Slam champion, he was unbeatable in Rotterdam. He became the first new first-time major champion to win in his next tournament, emulating retired Australian Lleyton Hewitt, who was the last man to do so in 2001.

Sinner has since risen to become the world No. 3, the highest peak of an Italian player in ATP rankings history. But that's not his ceiling. If he wins the Miami Open this week, he will overtake Carlos Alcaraz for the no. 2 spot.

The 22-year-old is in pole position to become the new world No. 1 in a few months. Given Novak Djokovic's inauspicious start to 2024, Sinner has a golden opportunity to rise to the summit of men's tennis. Here's how.

How Can Sinner Become The New World No. 1?

Sinner has been the top-performing player in the last nine months, as can be attested by the Olympics race, which he officially took control of after reaching the Miami final. He is also the current ATP race leader, which counts for points accumulated in the current season.

Winning the Miami Open will speed up the process of becoming the No. 1 player, but it doesn't affect Sinner's bid in the slightest, even if he loses to the inspired Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday.

Firstly, Sinner, Novak Djokovic, and Carlos Alcaraz will contend for the world No. 1 ranking during the European clay swing. Of the three, the Italian defends the fewest points.

Although the dirt is Sinner's least favorite surface, there is additional pressure on Djokovic and Alcaraz to earn more points than Sinner between now and June.

Sinner will defend only 585 points for the next two months. Djokovic will defend the most points, thanks to his Roland Garros success last June (2,315 points), while Alcaraz will defend 2,265 points.

The Olympic race cycle ends on June 10th after the Roland Garros final. Sinner is currently on top with 7,775 points. Djokovic is in second place with 7,410 points, while Alcaraz is in third with 6,380 points.

In short, if Sinner can earn the same number of points as his two rivals on clay, or even slightly less, he will keep the gap between himself and them. That would be sufficient to crown him as the new World No. 1 on Monday, June 10th, which is the earliest he could take over.


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