Djokovic’s latest rankings drop spells bad French Open news as Medvedev benefits

Novak Djokovic has received a blow to his French Open chances after dropping down the rankings. The Serb has fallen two spots to No 3 in the world behind Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev with the current standings being used to determine the seeds at Roland Garros. It means Djokovic could face Alcaraz as early as the semi-final, making it more difficult to reach a record 23rd Major title.

Djokovic has dropped down the rankings after being unable to defend his title at the Italian Open. Medvedev surprised himself by lifting his first trophy on the clay, which allowed him to surpass the Serb and return to the No 2 spot, guaranteeing himself the position as the second seed at the French Open.

Alcaraz was already guaranteed to dethrone Djokovic as the new world No 1 just by playing in Rome, as he did not compete in the event last year and received enough points to overtake the 36-year-old just by stepping onto the court. The Spaniard has cemented himself as one of the title favourites – losing just one match during the European clay swing.

And Djokovic would have been able to avoid meeting the 20-year-old until the final if he was able to maintain a spot at No 2 in the world but Medvedev overtook him by winning Rome. It leaves the two-time former French Open champion with a 50 per cent chance of landing in Alcaraz’s half, while Medvedev is the one who has benefitted by avoiding the top seed.

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The 20-time title winner admitted that it was better to have overtaken Djokovic ahead of the French Open as he said: “The solutions I had, if I would be No 3, I would definitely play one of Alcaraz or Novak if I am in the semi-final.

“You definitely have one of them in your draw. I guess it’s better to be No. 2 and get the chance. Carlos and I don’t play for sure before the final, and Novak maybe 50 per cent chance he’s not in your draw. At the same time I haven’t been further than quarters in Roland Garros.”

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As the third seed, Djokovic could also face someone like his Rome conqueror Holger Rune as early as the quarter-final. The 22-time Major champion’s chances are also under question this year because of his record on the clay so far.

Djokovic had been carrying an elbow injury that saw him pull out of the Madrid Masters, and he went 2-2 in matches across Monte Carlo and Banja Luka. He was able to improve to 5-3 on the surface this year with a run to the Rome quarter-final but this year still marks the first since 2018 that he hasn’t won a clay title in the lead-up to the French Open. 

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