Rafael Nadal vs Carlos Alcaraz: who will be number 1 in the world at the end of the year? Alcaraz prepares for the crucial Paris-Bercy event with one goal: to be number 1 in the next ATP Finals in Turin. What will he need for the company? Nadal sharpens his weapons, knowing he has a slim chance.
Alcaraz, fresh from the semi-final knockout in Basel with a wild Felix Auger-Aliassime, does not give up the race for number 1 at the end of the year. The Spaniard born in 2003 would be the 18th player to finish ahead of everyone, differentiating himself from those who have reached the top of the world, but without being able to defend him until the end of the year.
It happened to important Spaniards, like Carlos Moya and especially Juan Carlos Ferrero, now his coach. But also champions like Boris Becker, Thomas Muster and Marat Safin. All at an age absolutely unattainable for everyone.
The first step will be to defend the position at the start of the ATP Finals in Turin. And Paris-Bercy, of course, will be the crucial crossing. Points in hand, Carlos is owner of his destiny. If he reaches the quarterfinals, he will not even have to look at the results of Rafa Nadal, his opponent in the race, determined to become the third player in history to close the sixth year of his career at number 1 .
For his part, the Spaniard has only one result for the Finals: victory, with Alcaraz out of the game before the quarterfinals. A mission that is anything but simple, we recall. Rafa, in Paris, never present until 2007, in seven participations he reached only one final, lost in two sets with Nalbandian, and three semifinals.
The only positive memory, the 1000th victory in his career. Not surprisingly, his nemesis, exactly like the ATP Finals, where he only played in the 2010 and 2013 finals. So, Paris-Bercy as the first act. Nothing more.
Because number one will be chosen in Turin. Ruud, Tsitsipas and Medvedev are already out of the game to appear in Italy with the first place in their pocket. But a double strong performance, between France and Italy, and two early eliminations for Alcaraz, could still change the cards.