Carlos Alcaraz leaves everyone behind, even Novak Djokovic!

Carlos Alcaraz earned a massive hard-court Major record

by Jovica Ilic
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Carlos Alcaraz leaves everyone behind, even Novak Djokovic!
© Cameron Spencer / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Despite his youthful years, Carlos Alcaraz has already engraved an impressive collection of achievements and records. A two-time Major champion has showcased his immense talent on all three surfaces, securing significant titles along the way.

Alcaraz's inaugural Major triumph unfolded at the US Open in 2022, and he is on the quest for a second title at this year's Australian Open, successfully navigating through four rounds and securing a spot in the quarter-final.

Alcaraz not only contests for another Major victory but also attains a remarkable record - holding the most hard-court wins at Majors before turning 21. Surpassing notable figures like Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic, Lleyton Hewitt, and Michael Chang, Carlos stands tall with 23 hard-court Major triumphs, with three more up for grabs this week.

Even the hard-court wizard Djokovic paused at 20 despite clinching the Australian Open and making it to the US Open final at 20, facing early exits at other hard-court Majors in his early years on the Tour.

Carlos Alcaraz, Australian Open 2024© Graham Denholm / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Carlos Alcaraz is the only player with 23 hard-court Major wins before turning 21.

The Spaniard entered Melbourne with 19, his tally slightly stunted due to missing opportunities in 2023 after skipping the season's initial Major.

Regardless, Carlos now commands the lead in this category, owed largely to his reliable performances at the US Open, amassing 16 victories over three appearances in New York. The Spaniard has been playing well in Melbourne, producing his A-game in the first four rounds and setting the clash against Alexander Zverev.

Alcaraz kicked off his third Australian Open campaign with a solid win over Richard Gasquet, prevailing over the veteran in the opener and sailing over the top in sets two and three. Carlos delivered his 21st hard-court Major win with a hard-fought 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 triumph over Lorenzo Sonego in nearly three and a half hours, matching Roddick's achievement.

The Spaniard played well despite a challenging rival, losing serve once and delivering three breaks, enough to move over the top after wrapping up the tie break of the fourth set.

Carlos Alcaraz, Australian Open 2024© Cameron Spencer / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Alcaraz faced a younger opponent than him for the first time in a career against Juncheng Shang in the third round, seeking the record-breaking 22nd hard-court Major win.

The Chinese struggled with the right thigh injury, trailing 6-1, 6-1, 1-0 before retiring in the second game of the third set, propelling the Spaniard into the last 16. Carlos met Miomir Kecmanovic in a battle for the quarter-final and scored a rock-solid 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 win in an hour and 49 minutes.

Alcaraz landed 43 winners and 19 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and outplaying his opponent in the exchanges for a place in his first Australian Open quarter-final. Carlos combined crafty defense with sublime attacks, having the upper hand in the shortest and more advanced exchanges.

Alcaraz dropped 16 points in his games and never faced a break point. He stole Miomir's serve two times in the opening two sets for a 6-4, 6-4 lead. Kecmanovic faded from the court in the third set, suffering a bagel and propelling Alcaraz into the quarter-final.

Carlos Alcaraz Novak Djokovic
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