The 16-year-old Carlos Alcaraz started the previous season ranked 490th, eager to show his rich talent and make quick progress through the ATP ranking list. The young Spaniard kicked off the action with two Futures titles from three finals and his first ATP victory in Rio de Janeiro.
Following the season restart in August, Carlos was the player to beat on the Challenger Tour, winning 20 out of 24 matches by the end of the year and celebrating trophies in Trieste, Barcelona and Alicante. Carlos qualified for the Australian Open in January and will make his Major debut next week at 17, as the draw's youngest player.
Before that, the super talented player who works with Juan Carlos Ferrero wrote history in Melbourne at the ATP 250 Great Ocean Road Open, beating the top seed David Goffin 6-3, 6-3 to enter the third round.
Carlos Alcaraz scored the first top-15 victory at 17.
Thus, Carlos became the youngest player since Richard Gasquet in Buenos Aires 2004 with the top-15 victory under his belt.
Also, Carlos is one of the youngest Spanish players to achieve this feat, following the 20-time Major champion Rafael Nadal who did that at 16 in Monte Carlo 2003! Goffin couldn't do much against aggressive and determined rival, scoring three breaks but dropping almost 60% of the initial shot points to propel Carlos into the last 16.
They traded five consecutive breaks in the opener, with three of those coming from Carlos' racquet before comfortable holds in games seven and nine for 6-3. Like in the opener, Goffin suffered three straight breaks in set number two to propel the opponent into the next round and finish his journey earlier than expected.
"It was an excellent match. I always want to play these kinds of matches against great players like Goffin. I'm thrilled with this win today, looking forward to the next round," Carlos Alcaraz said. "Carlos just killed me, so I would say he's good; he had nothing to lose today.
He qualified for his first Major before turning 18, hitting the ball unbelievable. I don't know if he plays like tonight in every match, but it was a huge performance. He didn't let me play," David Goffin said.