Carlos Alcaraz won the first Major title at the US Open. The 19-year-old took the opportunity from him and knocked down seven rivals to become the seventh youngest winner of a Major in the Open Era. In addition, the Spaniard became the world number 1 on Monday, writing history as the only teenager on the ATP throne.
Alcaraz was fourth before the US Open and has entered the top-3 and top-2 for the first time. Carlos is the fourth youngest player in the top two since the inception of the ATP rankings in 1973, joining Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal on the list of teenagers who have made it.
Bjorn Borg did it in 1975, and Boris Becker followed in 1986. We had to wait almost two decades to see another teenager in the top two, as Rafael Nadal entered the group a month after clinching his first Major crown. in Paris.
Carlos Alcaraz joined the party 17 years after the oldest of the Spaniards, entering the top-2 at 19 years and four months and writing the history books. Carlos is three months older than Rafa at the time of entering the top-2, and it is still a huge achievement that will be difficult for the next youngsters to repeat.
Alcaraz closed out the 2021 season with the semifinal in Vienna and the third round in Paris before conquering the ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan. Carlos started the 2022 season from outside the top-30 and pushed Matteo Berrettini to the limit at the Australian Open, losing in the deciding tie-break.
In February, Alcaraz became the youngest ATP 500 champion in Rio de Janeiro and broke into the top-20 a day later. The youngster lost an epic semi-final in Indian Wells to Rafael Nadal before rebounding in Miami to become the third-youngest Masters 1000 champion.
At that point, a top-10 spot became inevitable, and Carlos found himself in the elite group after winning his second ATP 500 crown in Barcelona.
Alcaraz is a young star
After winning the US Open, Carlos Alcaraz expressed adulation to the Big 3 — Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer — and claimed he didn't want to be compared to them but would rather follow in their footsteps and be like them.
"It's incredible to be the youngest #1 ever. But it's much tougher what the Big 3 is doing: stay on top for 20 years. That's what I'm looking for. I don't wanna compare myself to them, but I wanna be like them," Alcaraz said. "I'm at 60% of my potential.
There are a lot of things to improve. Nadal, Djokovic and Federer improved a lot of things over the years. I have to improve mentally and physically. The tennis too. I can stay in my comfort zone," Carlos Alcaraz observed.