An endless chain of records. Carlos Alcaraz has not only become the youngest number one in the history of tennis. At nineteen years and four months, he has also secured entry into the Top 10 of the earliest Major triumphs – joining an extraordinary group – but in the course of 2022 he has also become: the youngest to win the Masters 1000 in Madrid and Miami, the youngest in history to beat both Nadal and Djokovic, the youngest champion of a ‘500’ event but also the youngest to win at Flushing Meadows since Pete Sampras in 1990.
That’s all? Not yet. As for the Slam tournaments, the Spanish phenomenon has managed to add the first pearl to his collection in the ninth participation of his career. The first glimpse was last season and the extraordinary victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the round of 16 before his retirement against Felix Auger Aliassime.
Defeat in the first round in the cadet draw in 2020, compared to the Australian Open in 2021 the debut. There, Alcaraz had made the cut in the qualifying phase – played in a totally unprecedented way in Abu Dhabi – before losing in the second round to Mikael Ymer.
The same dynamic in Paris, although after qualifying it was Jan-Lennard Struff who ended the Spaniard’s adventure in the third round. Precedents: Nadal, Djokovic and Federer. After the third round at Melbourne Park in 2022, the quarters in Paris and the round of 16 at Wimbledon, the Spaniard completed a two-week run of three consecutive fifth-set matches (with Cilic, Sinner and Tiafoe) with victory.
Alcaraz won the 2022 US Open
Patrick Mouratoglou has pointed out three key reasons behind the rapid rise of Carlos Alcaraz. “The first one that is most impressive in his mental strength, that is incredible. All this expectations on his shoulders, the number one ranking, the first Grand Slam, having to save match points, being completely exhausted physically and is able to deliver in these conditions,” he said.
The French coach then turned to Alcaraz’s physical ability, pointing to the Spaniard’s “intensity” and “explosiveness” on every shot. “The second is his physical abilities. The intensity combined with explosiveness, the way he hits the ball with so much violence with every single shot,” he said.
“And number three is how complete his game is. No weaknesses, great from far behind the baseline, great from close to the baseline, 30% of his shot that he hits are inside the baseline, great at net. To develop all this at 19 years of age is unbelievable,” he added.