Why Carlos Alcaraz Can Still Finish 2023 Season As World No. 3

Why Carlos Alcaraz Can Still Finish 2023 Season As World No. 3

by Nurein Ahmed

For many weeks, Carlos Alcaraz had been relentless in his pursuit of the year-end No. 1 ranking until Novak Djokovic sealed the deal last weekend.

The Serbian was crowned as the ATP's No. 1 for an eighth year thanks to his thrilling three-set win over Holger Rune in his first group-stage match at the ATP Finals. After a closely-contested battle all season, the race was decided in the final tournament.

That means Alcaraz's best finish to 2023 can be at No. 2. But even that is not a foregone conclusion. Yes, Alcaraz is still not mathematically safe. That is because the gap between him and Daniil Medvedev is the lowest it's ever been for a while.

Medvedev and Alcaraz are in the same group at the ATP Finals which makes it even more interesting. The Spaniard is not enjoying his time on the court of late, having lost three matches in a row, including his opening round-robin match on his debut in Turin.

Medvedev, for his part, defeated Andrey Rublev to kick off his campaign in the best possible manner. By doing so, he earned 200 points, narrowing the gap to Alcaraz to just 1,055 points. And with the Russian scheduled to face the 20-year-old in the third rubber in the group, it could have a significant impact on the Top 3 year-end ranking.

Alcaraz has 8,455 points. After losing his opening match, he's now scurrying to the finish line. Medvedev can garner a maximum of 8,700 points if he goes undefeated at the ATP Finals. In fact, if Alcaraz finishes the group 0-3, it enhances Medvedev's chances of overtaking him.

The Russian could actually afford a loss to Alexander Zverev in the second group match provided he wins every single match after that, including beating Alcaraz in the group. The bare minimum for Medvedev now would be to win the tournament and hope Alcaraz loses all his group matches to finish as No. 2.

There is also another scenario in which Alcaraz can still win one round-robin match and still finish as No. 3. If the Spaniard beats Rublev and loses to Medvedev, he'll be on 8,655 points. Assuming Alcaraz is eliminated from the group with a 1-2 record, then Medvedev will finish No. 2 provided he wins the title as an undefeated champion (8,700 points).


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