At the age of 19 years and seven months, Carlos Alcaraz will become the number 1 of the youngest year in the history of the ATP at the end of December. The teenager skipped the ATP Finals, but his position was almost cemented against struggling Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who had to win all five matches in Turin to pass him.
Nadal and Tsitsipas fell short, and Carlos can celebrate another honor in his already rich collection. Lleyton Hewitt was the previous youngest number 1 of the year, at 20 years and ten months. Alcaraz smashed that record and set the bar very high for the next rivals who want to challenge him.
Carlos was 57-13 as a record in 2022, winning five ATP titles, including his first US Open crown and two Masters 1000 shields. The youngster seized his chances and finished above Nadal, who struggled with injuries, and of Novak Djokovic, who was left without collecting points in three Majors.
Alcaraz started the season from outside the top-30 and found himself in the top-10 at the end of April. Carlos lost a tight matchup with Matteo Berrettini at the Australian Open and conquered Rio de Janeiro, Miami and Barcelona to break into the elite group as an 18-year-old.
Alcaraz became the third-youngest Masters 1000 champion in Miami before celebrating his second ATP 500 crown in two months in Barcelona in April. He didn't stop there, the young Spaniard claimed his second Masters 1000 trophy in Madrid after beating Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev.
Arias opens up on Alcaraz
Jimmy Arias believes Carlos Alcaraz possesses abilities like no other player, particularly due to his athletic prowess. "His game's pretty good, he's an incredible athlete," Arias said.
"He does things that I haven't seen players do. He can hit a 100-mile-an-hour forehand from 3 feet behind the baseline, and then on the next shot, he's at the net or pretty close to the net. You don't see anybody do that, it's a new thing.
It's impressive to watch. Obviously, he [Carlos Alcaraz] went to the US Open and he's still one of the top favorites at that tournament and it was fine. Now that he's No. 1, he's just going to have to learn to deal with it.
It's different, you're not chasing anyone anymore. Everyone's chasing you, everyone's gunning for you," Arias suggested. Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev suffered early losses in New York, with Alcaraz surviving a pair of challenging encounters to stay on title track. He saved a match point against Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals and defeated Frances Tiafoe in the semifinals.