Carlos Alcaraz has emulated one of Rafael Nadal's impressive feats as the 20-year-old Spaniard is the third Under-21 player since 2000 to collect 10 wins against top-10 players in a calendar year after his idol Nadal and Australian tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt, via OptaAce.
On Wednesday, Alcaraz defeated world No 5 Andrey Rublev 7-5 6-2 at the ATP Finals. For Alcaraz, it was his 10th win against a top-10 player in 2023. Previously, Hewitt accomplished that feat in 2000 and 2001, while Nadal achieved the record in 2006.
By achieving that, Alcaraz - who idolized and looked up to Nadal growing up - emulated one of his idol's impressive feats late in the 2023 season.
10 - With victory over Andrey Rublev, Carlos Alcaraz is the third player under 21 since 2000 to claim 10 wins vs top-10 in a calendar year after Lleyton Hewitt (2000-01) and Rafael Nadal (2006).
Alcaraz emulates one of Nadal's impressive feats
After suffering a three-set loss to Alexander Zverev in his ATP Finals opener, Alcaraz did a much better job against Rublev, in a match which was a must-win situation for the Spaniard. "It was a totally different match and level from me.
This is the level I have to play if I want to give myself a chance in this amazing tournament. Yesterday was a good day for me in practise to find the level I needed to show today and I think I did pretty well. I am very happy with my level;" Alcaraz said after beating Rublev.
In his last group stage match at the ATP Finals, Alcaraz plays against world No 3 Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev, who defeated Alcaraz in the US Open semifinal, has a 2-0 record and he has already sealed a semifinal ticket. “We’re going to try and use the US Open match as an example.
I was mentally in the wrong place for a long time. That cannot happen against him. I will have to approach it differently. I know how he will play, so we’ll look at my strategy before the match," Alcaraz said.
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