In the quest for a first ever Grand Slam title, Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz have the opportunity to become the new World No 1 in men’s singles. But that’s only if they make it to the US Open final.

At the start of the year’s last Major, there were five players in contention of getting to the World No 1 spot – current No 1 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Ruud and Alcaraz.

With Medvedev losing in the fourth round and Tsitsipas losing his opening match, Nadal is set to regain the No 1 spot – provided Ruud and/or Alcaraz do not reach the summit clash.

Should the 22-time Grand Slam winner get to the top spot, it’ll be his ninth stint at the top of the rankings, a position he last held in the week of January 20, 2020.

As it stands, Nadal, who lost to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round will be on 5,810 ranking points when the charts are updated on Monday. He’ll be followed by the new World No 2 Casper Ruud, who reached the semifinal after beating Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday, on 5,370 points.

Alcaraz is in third place with 5,100 points, but is yet to play his quarterfinal against Jannik Sinner.

Should they reach the final, they’ll overtake Nadal’s points – Ruud will be on 5,850 and Alcaraz on 5,940.

If both Ruud and Alcaraz reach the final, whoever wins the US Open title will be the World No 1.

Round by round ranking points

Player  R4  QF  SF  F  Title
 Rafael Nadal  5,810  -  -  -  -
 Carlos Alcaraz  4,920  5,100  5,460  5,940  6,740
 Casper Ruud  -  5,010  5,370  5,850  6,650
Courtesy: ATP

19-year-old Alcarz also has the opportunity set a new record – since the ATP adopted a computerised rankings system in 1973 – of becoming the youngest World No 1. That record is currently by Lleyton Hewitt, who was 20 years and nine months old when he first rose to the top spot on November 19, 2001.

Ruud, in turn, will become the first ever Norwegian to get to that position.