Carlos Alcaraz follows Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 3146
Carlos Alcaraz will turn 20 in May. World no. 1 Has already played in three Masters 1000 finals, becoming the sixth U20 player to achieve that since the start of the series in 1990! The season has just started, and Alcaraz will have plenty more opportunities to increase his tally and make his U20 career even more impressive.
Michael Chang achieved three Masters 1000 finals by the season he turned 20, with Andrei Medvedev following him a couple of years later. Marat Safin led the charts for a couple of years after reaching four Masters 1000 finals during his U20 years.
However, Rafael Nadal passed him and raised the bar higher, with seven Masters 1000 finals by his name at the end of 2006! Novak Djokovic became the fifth player with three Masters 1000 finals by the season he turned 20, joining an exclusive list and standing as the last player for over 15 years.
Carlos Alcaraz is the sixth U20 player with three Masters 1000 finals.
Carlos Alcaraz played his first Masters 1000 final in Miami last year, still at 18. He added another in Madrid in May and had to wait ten months to secure his third.
It came in Indian Wells last week, with the Spaniard winning the title without losing a set to write history books. If Carlos reaches another Masters 1000 final by the end of the year, he will join Nadal and Safin on an even more exclusive list, which should not be a problem with his current form.
Alcaraz made a convincing start in the desert against Thanasi Kokkinakis and earned his 100th ATP victory against Tallon Griekspoor. Jack Draper retired in the second set in the fourth round, and the Spaniard set the quarter-final clash against Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Seeking his first win over the Canadian, the Spaniard prevailed 6-4, 6-4 to advance into the semi-final and arrange another thrilling meeting with Jannik Sinner. Carlos scored a 7-6, 6-3 win for a place in the final, saving a set point on serve in the opener's 12th game and controlling the scoreboard after that to move through.
An in-form Daniil Medvedev stood between Alcaraz and the ATP throne, with the Russian seeking the 20th consecutive win and the fourth title in five weeks! However, Carlos delivered a dominant 6-3, 6-2 victory in 70 minutes, playing flawless tennis on serve and return to become a three-time Masters 1000 champion at 19!