Novak Djokovic LOSES his world No. 1 status just over a week before the start of the French Open… with the return of Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz at the top of the table
- Novak Djokovic spent a record 386 weeks as the world’s No. 1 ranked player
- However, Carlos Alcaraz replaced the Serb at the top of the table
- The change comes as the French Open is set to start in just over a week
Carlos Alcaraz has overtaken Novak Djokovic as the world’s No. 1 ranked men’s tennis player.
The Serb – who holds the record for the most weeks as a world No.1 with 386 in total during his career – loses the rankings in preparation for the French Open which starts in just over a week .
It comes after Alcaraz, 20, got off to a great start at the Italian Open, earning a 6-4 6-1 win over fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Meanwhile, Djokovic won his opener after receiving a first-round bye but was unconvincing against world No. 61 Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
He was twice behind in the first set before finally emerging victorious with a 7-6(5) 6-2 win on Friday.
Novak Djokovic has been overtaken in his position as the world’s No. 1 ranked tennis player
Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz, 20, edged out Djokovic to take over the job
However, Djokovic has been battling injuries lately and had to miss the recent Madrid Open due to elbow issues as he prepares for the start of Roland Garros on May 22.
Djokovic is a two-time French Open winner in 2016 and 2021, while he is also targeting the seventh Italian Open title of his career.
But, after his second-round win, he was furious with the condition he was forced to play in.
Djokovoic could be seen expressing his displeasure with the referee, saying during the first set that the clay court was “an absolute disaster”.
“Every rebound is different,” he added. “It seems there is too much clay. Half a meter inside, half a meter outside.
Elsewhere, Alcaraz – who has already spent 22 weeks as world No 1 over the past year – was delighted with his victory as the Spanish sensation continues his rapid rise to stardom after winning the US Open the last year.
Djokovic has just returned to action at the Italian Open after struggling with an elbow problem
The Serb is preparing for the 2023 French Open – a Grand Slam he has won twice
Speaking after his victory over Ramos-Vinolas, he told the official ATP website: “The first round of every tournament is really tough and of course Albert, especially on clay, is a really tough opponent. “
“I had to adapt my game very quickly to be able to do that. The conditions were not easy either, the rain, the wait all day.
“I didn’t know if I was going to play or not. But I’m really happy with my performance at the end.
Djokovic will face Grigor Dimitrov in the third round of the tournament, while Alcaraz will face either Jiri Lehecka or Fabian Marozsan.