Why Early Queen's Loss To Draper Can Hurt Alcaraz At Wimbledon

Why Early Queen's Loss To Draper Can Hurt Alcaraz At Wimbledon

by Nurein Ahmed

Carlos Alcaraz suffered a potentially season-defining defeat to Jack Draper at the 2024 Cinch Championships and could be set for a tougher Wimbledon title defense.

Draper, the most in-form man on grass courts so far this year, scored the biggest win of his young career at Queen's Club to extend his win streak on the surface to seven matches. It comes on the back of his maiden Tour-level title success in Stuttgart this past weekend.

Alcaraz's defeat has had an immediate impact on the rankings because he could not defend the 500 points he garnered last year for winning the tournament in West Kensington. Therefore, he will return to World No. 3 as the injured Novak Djokovic returns to the top two.

And as the countdown to Wimbledon begins, Alcaraz will be acutely aware that his draw at the grass-court Grand Slam could pit him against Djokovic and Jannik Sinner in back-to-back matches to win his fourth major.

The 21-year-old will be seeded at No. 3, which means he will be in the same half of the draw as World No. 1 Sinner. This could lead to a possible semifinal showdown against the Italian.

Even after capturing his first Roland Garros crown a few weeks ago, it was impossible for him to reclaim the World no. 1 ranking from his close rival Sinner, who took over that mantle from Djokovic.

It meant that the earliest he could challenge for the top spot was during the North American hard-court swing. But even that projection might not materialize after his early loss at Queen's. And now, his draw at Wimbledon could end up being the hardest of those contending for the title.

But Alcaraz's consolation is that Djokovic is not certain to play at Wimbledon. The Serbian, a seven-time champion at the event, is currently recovering from knee surgery after sustaining a torn meniscus at the French Open.

If the 37-year-old World No. 2 withdraws before the draw ceremony, Alcaraz will be the second seed and will avoid Sinner at least until the final.


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