Djokovic vs. Alcaraz vs. Medvedev: The Brewing 3-Way Battle For World No. 1
Instead of distancing himself from the field at the first clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event of the season, Djokovic may find himself in a three-way battle for World No. 1 by the end of the tournament with Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev.
If the Serbian claimed his 39th ATP Masters 1000 title this week in the Principality, he would have taken a 1,380-point lead over the field. Instead, the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings show he owns just a 470-point edge ahead of No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz. Red-hot Daniil Medvedev can pull to within 1,080 points if he triumphs in Monte-Carlo.
Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings - 13 April 2023
|Player||Live Pts||Max Pts (end of week)|
|1) Novak Djokovic||7,240||-|
|2) Carlos Alcaraz||6,770||-|
|3) Casper Ruud||5,255||-|
|4) Daniil Medvedev||5,240||6,060|
|5) Stefanos Tsitsipas||4,950||5,770|
It sets the stage for an intense battle over the course of the clay-court season. Djokovic and Alcaraz are defending nearly the same number of points during the swing, while Medvedev will barely drop any points.
World No. 1 Djokovic is defending 1,870 points on clay, with 1,000 of those points coming in Rome, where he triumphed last year. Alcaraz is defending 1,860 points during the same stretch, with 1,500 coming in the next two weeks, in Barcelona and Madrid, where he lifted trophies in 2022.
Medvedev currently trails Djokovic by 2,000 points in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, but the deficit is smaller than it seems. The 27-year-old is defending just 180 points for the entirety of the clay season, with all of those points coming from his fourth-round showing last year at Roland Garros.
If Medvedev wins the title in Monte-Carlo and you remove the points the trio are defending for the rest of the clay swing, it is Medvedev who would be in front.
The former World No. 1 has openly shared his disdain for the surface. But with titles in Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai and Miami this year, Medvedev is playing his best tennis and will be confident, even on his least-favourite surface. That confidence showed in a thrilling final-set tie-break win over two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev on Thursday in Monte-Carlo, where he will play Holger Rune in the quarter-finals..
With so many points at stake in the coming weeks anything can happen. But Djokovic’s early loss in the Principality opened the door, and now it will be up to Alcaraz or Medvedev to walk through it.
Although Medvedev is currently No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, he leads the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin by 690 points, which shows where the battle for World No. 1 will trend by the end of the year.
Djokovic is scheduled to compete in Banja Luka next week and Alcaraz is set to play in Barcelona.