Just one month after it was taken away from him, Carlos Alcaraz has soared back to the World No. 1 spot, snatching the crown back from reigning Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic.
The Spaniard thrashed Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Sunday to leapfrog Djokovic in the ATP rankings. Medvedev had come into the tournament on the back of title runs in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai, making Alcaraz's win that much more impressive.
The victory marks Carlos Alcaraz's second title of the year, having previously won the Argentina Open (beat Cameron Norrie in the final). The teenager also reached the final of the Rio Open the following week, where Norrie had his revenge.
Alcaraz and Medvedev will now both move to the second half of the Sunshine Double - the Miami Open - where the former is the defending champion. The reigning US Open champion won the title in Miami last year by beating Casper Ruud in the final, registering his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title.
The Indian Wells title this year, meanwhile, marks his third, with the 2022 Madrid Open triumph (beat Alexander Zverev in the final) being his second. In Madrid, Alcaraz made history by becoming the youngest champion in the event's history, as well as the first player to defeat both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the same clay tournament.
It should be noted that 22-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic was not present at Indian Wells, as he was unable to enter the country due to existing vaccine mandates in the country. The Serb will also not be able to participate in Miami for the same reason.
Novak Djokovic can reclaim World No. 1 spot from Carlos Alcaraz despite Miami Open absence
However, with Carlos Alcaraz being the defending champion at the Miami Open, Novak Djokovic has a shot at retaking the World No. 1 crown from him despite his absence in the second ATP Masters 1000 event of the season.
Currently, fewer than 300 ranking points separate Djokovic from Alcaraz following the Spaniard's Indian Wells triumph -- 7,420 to 7,160. If Alcaraz defends his Miami title, he will hold the No. 1 spot. However, anything less than that will be enough for the 22-time Grand Slam champion to replace him at the top of the rankings, as he himself has no points to defend at the tournament (missed last year due to the same vaccine mandate).
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