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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday May 8, 2023

Carlos Alcaraz is set to make a return to No.1 in the ATP rankings for the third time – just not this week.

Tennis Express

The Spaniard, who successfully defended his Madrid title on Sunday with a three-set victory over Jan-Lennard Struff pulls within five points of Novak Djokovic in the ATP rankings this week.

But he is guaranteed to pass Djokovic after Rome, provided that he takes the court for his second round match (after a bye) in Rome. That’s because Djokovic is defending 1000 points in Rome and can’t make up any ground. Meanwhile, Alcaraz, even if he loses in his second round, will pick up the points required to pass Djokovic.

All the Spaniard has to do is … play!

That means Alcaraz will begin his 23rd week at No.1 on Monday May 22, and take that ranking into Roland-Garros.

Djokovic, meanwhile, is beginning his 386th week at No.1 this week. As the all-time record holder for weeks at No.1 – male or female – he is closing in on 400 weeks at No.1, but there is still work to be done.

Djokovic and Alcaraz could meet in the final at Rome this next week. The draw for men’s singles was released earlier on Monday.