Carlos Alcaraz's French Open victory will hurt Novak Djokovic

Carlos Alcaraz defeated Alexander Zverev in the French Open final.
Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters
Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Carlos Alcaraz is up and Novak Djokovic is down. That summarizes the current state of the ATP. There is so much more to the story, however.

Men's tennis is in a clear transitional period. The Big 3 era is gone. Sure, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal remain while Roger Federer has retired, but Nadal and Djokovic are seemingly nowhere near the top form that put them in position to win 20-plus Grand Slams. There is a younger generation ready to take over control of tennis and there is no better example of that than the ATP rankings.

When the latest rankings are released on Monday, 22-year-old Sinner will take over the top spot for the ATP. Alcaraz will move to No. 2 after winning the French Open. Djokovic, who had been ranked No. 1 since August (and for two weeks in May of 2023 was ranked No. 3), will fall to No. 3. The difference between Djokovic now compared to previous years is that he seems closer to the end of his career.

Novak Djokovic loses because of Carlos Alcaraz's French Open victory

Sinner might hold on to No. 1 through summer. Much depends on how Wimbledon goes in early July. Alcaraz won the event in 2023 while Djokovic was the runner-up. Sinner lost in the semifinals. The Serb is unlikely to play at Wimbledon so he will lose a lot of points. Alcaraz will have his points for winning fall off before the tournament.

Should Sinner reach the final at the grass-court major, he is going to increase his rankings lead. Alcaraz might maintain the same. Djokovic will be the biggest loser.

Next. Coco Gauff slams French Open over Novak Djokovic. Coco Gauff slams French Open over Novak Djokovic. dark

Tennis fans should assume that Novak Djokovic is never going to be No. 1 again. He seems less motivated and in poorer form than in many previous years. The real battle for the next few years for the top ranking on the tour is going to be between Sinner and Alcaraz. Djokovic's success in late 2023 - he won the US Open and then the ATP Finals - is only going to hurt him late in 2024.

The real battle for the rest of the year might be who is the ATP No. 3. That could be Alexander Zverev, but he has never been good at Wimbledon. By the end of the year, there could be a wide distance between Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz versus the rest of the field.

More tennis news and analysis: