What Alcaraz Must Do At Indian Wells To Return To World No. 1

  • Posted: Mar 07, 2023

What Alcaraz Must Do At Indian Wells To Return To World No. 1

Medvedev and Rune have opportunities in the coming weeks

Carlos Alcaraz controls his own destiny in the battle for No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings over the course of the next two weeks. If the Spaniard wins the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, he will return to the top spot on 20 March.

If World No. 2 Alcaraz does anything less than lift the trophy at the season’s first ATP Masters 1000 event, Novak Djokovic will remain World No. 1 on 20 March.

Alcaraz last September became the youngest World No. 1 in the history of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. The 19-year-old maintained the position for 20 weeks and finished as year-end World No. 1.

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Should Alcaraz get to No. 1 by winning Indian Wells, holding onto top spot won’t be easy. Dropping 1,000 points entering Miami, the Spaniard would need to successfully defend his title at Hard Rock Stadium to remain at No. 1 at the conclusion of the ‘Sunshine Swing’.

World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas is also in contention for World No. 1 in March, defending a combined 135 points in Indian Wells and Miami. The Greek must win one title and reach one final during the swing to give himself a chance of reaching top spot for the first time.

Former World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev fell to World No. 12 on 30 January. He has been on a tear ever since, claiming titles in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai to surge to World No. 6.

Medvedev enters the ‘Sunshine Swing’ with an opportunity to continue his rapid ascent. The 27-year-old is defending just 45 points at Indian Wells. Since Taylor Fritz is defending 1,000 points from last year’s championship run, that puts Medvedev at World No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings before a ball is struck.

The former World No. 1 is 1,785 points behind Casper Ruud. However, with a maximum 2,000 points up for grabs in Indian Wells and Miami, and Ruud defending 600 points from his run to last year’s final, Medvedev has an opportunity to make a move.

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Another Top 10 player with a big chance is Holger Rune. Last year, the Danish star entered Indian Wells qualifying without an ATP Masters 1000 main draw win to his name. He qualified and reached the second round before falling in the first round of qualifying in Miami, totaling 41 points for the two events.

Now Rune knows what it takes to lift the trophy at this level having done so at last year’s Rolex Paris Masters. The 19-year-old is No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, 21 points ahead of Andrey Rublev.

Rafael Nadal on 20 March will drop from the Top 10 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time since breaking into the elite group on 25 April 2005, when he was 18. The Spaniard will have spent a record 912 consecutive weeks in the Top 10.

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