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Tennis: First Serve | Miami Wrap and Rankings


Swiatek is a worthy World No. 1

Ashleigh Barty’s stunning retirement, with immediate effect, meant that Poland’s Iga Swiatek found herself in the hot seat as the new world No. 1. Pressure? What pressure! Swiatek breezed through her third WTA 1000 event in a row, this time without dropping a set, as she eased past four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka for the loss of just four games.

Still only 20, she joins an elite group of just four women who have completed the Sunshine Double – and let’s face it – a player who while still in her teenage years saw fit to engage a sports psychologist to help her deal with the pressures of the tour has her head firmly on her shoulders.

Welcome to the big time, Carlos Alcaraz

Another new star was crowned with his first Masters title in a stunning final, where Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest Miami men’s champion in the event’s 37-year history, and the third youngest player behind Michael Chang and Rafael Nadal to claim the prestigious title.

It was not the most confident of starts though, as the Spaniard dropped three games in a row at the start of the match, but as he began to find his footing in the stadium court, with a crowd largely behind him he fought hard to overturn the deficit to claim the first set, before easing to victory in straight sets.

Most of his titles to date are on clay – which makes the next couple of months very exciting.

Is Naomi Osaka back?

Naomi Osaka’s career has been the biggest rollercoaster you could imagine. She won her first Slam during a Serena Williams meltdown and had to endure being booed by the crowd on what should have been a defining moment in her career. Despite adding three more Slams to her tally, when she got to the dirt and the grass, she admitted that her mental health suffered greatly and opted to really limit her court time for the good of her mental health – and it was anyone’s guess how she would come back from being heckled and leaving the court in tears in Indian Wells.

Her answer? Her first tour level final since 2019 might have ended a little abruptly with an absolute slamming in the second set, and with her two least favourite surfaces coming up, will we see Naomi Osaka as a Slam force to be reckoned with.

Medvedev out of action, Djokovic holds on to No. 1

It has been a frustrating time for Daniil Medvedev – from being harried at the Australian Open final, which dented the joy of his inner child, to grabbing the top spot as arguably one of the most consistent players in the last few months, to now being out of action for a while.

Another one who is not necessarily a fan of the red stuff, he has chosen the start of the clay court season to have surgery to fix a small hernia, that he has played through over the last few months. It is a wise decision as he has very few points to defend having played just Madrid, Rome, and Roland Garros last year.

With Novak Djokovic making his return to the tour (most likely at the Monte Carlo Masters), Medvedev may have to wait some time to reclaim that crown.

ATP Rankings as of 4 April

Ranking        Move        PlayerCountryPoints        
1Novak DjokovicSerbia8420
2Daniil Medvedev8410
3+1Alexander ZverevGermany7195
4-1Rafael NadalSpain7115
5Stefanos TsitsipasGreece5980
6Matteo BerrettiniItaly4945
7+1Casper RuudNorway4380
8-1Andrey Rublev4375
9Felx Auger-Aliassime        Canada3625
10+2Cameron NorrieGreat Britain        3440

 

WTA Rankings as of 4 April

Ranking        Move        PlayerCountryPoints        
1+1Iga SwiatekPoland6711
2+2Barbora Krejcikova        Czech Republic        4975
3+3Paula BadosaSpain4970
4-1Maria SakkariGreece4705
5Aryna Sabalenka4657
6+1Anett KontaveitEstonia4511
7+1Karolina PliskovaCzech Republic4197
8+3Danielle CollinsUSA3151
9Garbine MuguruzaSpain3070
10Ons JabeurTunisia2975