Carlos Alcaraz earns top men’s seed for French Open after taking No. 1 world ranking from Novak Djokovic

Carlos Alcaraz earns top men’s seed for French Open after taking No. 1 world ranking from Novak Djokovic

Carlos Alcaraz replaced Novak Djokovic at No. 1 in the ATP rankings on Monday, earning the top seeding at the French Open, and Daniil Medvedev’s Italian Open title moved him up to No. 2 ahead of the year’s second Grand Slam tournament.

Djokovic’s loss in the fourth round as the defending champion in Rome dropped him to No. 3. That means he and Alcaraz could end up in the same half of the Roland Garros bracket and be set up for a potential semifinal showdown, depending on what happens in Thursday’s draw in Paris.

The French Open, which begins Sunday, will mark the first chance to be seeded No. 1 at a major tournament for Alcaraz, a Spaniard who turned 20 this month. He is 30-3 with four titles in 2023.

Alcaraz ascended to the ATP’s top spot for the first time by winning the US Open last September and, at 19, became the youngest man to finish a year there. But a leg injury kept him out of the Australian Open in January, when Djokovic won the title for his 22nd at a Slam event, tying Rafael Nadal for the men’s record.

Djokovic has spent more weeks at No. 1 than anyone — man or woman — in the history of the sport’s computerized rankings.

Iga Swiatek, the defending champion in Paris, remained at No. 1 in the WTA rankings, which she has led for more than a year, followed by No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion.

On the women’s side, Swiatek remains No. 1.Justin Setterfield/Getty

Swiatek stopped playing in the third set of her quarterfinal in Rome against reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina because of a hurt right thigh. Swiatek said afterward the problem “shouldn’t be anything serious.”

Rybakina’s trophy at the Italian Open allowed her to jump two places to a career-best No. 4 on Monday. She is not higher than that because her title at the All England Club did not come with the benefit of any rankings boost after both the WTA and ATP withheld all points that would have been earned there last year to protest a ban on Russian and Belarusian players over the invasion of Ukraine.

Jessica Pegula remained at No. 3, with WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia at No. 5 and 2022 French Open runner-up Coco Gauff at No. 6.

Casper Ruud, last year’s runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the French Open and to Alcaraz at the US Open, stayed at No. 4 in the ATP rankings, followed by Stefanos Tsitsipas at No. 5 and Holger Rune at a career-best No. 6. Rune eliminated Djokovic in Rome before losing to Medvedev in the final there on Sunday.

That marked Medvedev’s 20th career ATP title — and first on clay courts.

Nadal, who has 14 of his 22 major trophies at Roland Garros, announced last week he would be sitting out the French Open with a lingering left hip flexor injury. He has never missed that tournament since making his debut there in 2005.

This year, French Open organizers are giving all players access to an online tool meant to protect them from cyberbullying and harassment on social media.

The French tennis federation said the technology developed by a French company will be made available to all players taking part in this year’s clay-court Grand Slam tournament. The software uses artificial intelligence to filter comments posted to social media accounts and block those that are deemed toxic or abusive.

It said the tool “aims to preserve the players, their mental health, the values of sport and tennis, and to banish people who come to spread their aggression and hatred on social networks.”

Players and tennis officials can opt to connect their social networks to the technology before the tournament and keep it in place for at least one week after it ends.

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