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Carlos Alcaraz reacts after Rafael Nadal’s shock Paris Masters exit guarantees teenager year-end world No 1 crown

Nadal suffered a shock defeat to Tommy Paul in his opener at Bercy, which subsequently guaranteed Alcaraz the year-end no.1 crown.

When Paris Masters started earlier this week, Rafael Nadal stood a chance to dethrone Carlos Alcaraz from the ATP No.1 spot on the rankings chart. However, the 22-time Grand Slam champion suffered a shock defeat to Tommy Paul in his opener at Bercy, which subsequently guaranteed Alcaraz the year-end no.1 crown.

Following his win in US Open in September, Alcaraz had ascended to the top spot in ATP rankings, becoming the youngest ever player to do so. At the start of his campaign in Paris for the year’s final Masters 1000 title, Alcaraz was presented with a special trophy for his achievement in New York.

“Of course it’s a great feeling, you know, to let’s say in a little part to feel the best player in the world (smiling),” the tennis star said with pride on recieving the award. “On this, it’s a number. For me, it’s just a number. It’s just a ranking. Obviously it doesn’t mean that you’re gonna win every match, every tournament. You know, every players can beat you. I see like that, you know, right now. I just feel I can lose every match, and that’s the most important thing. You have to play your best match in every match or at least you have to try to play the best level in every match. That’s what I see in that moment right now.”

However, Alcaraz was not guaranteed the No.1 spot with Nadal breathing down his neck. A good tournament in Paris and in the ATP Finals could hand the senior Spaniard the top spot for the first time in two years. But Nadal’s struggle in Paris Masters continued in 2022 as well as he suffered a round-two exit to Paul, losing in three sets. The loss subsequently guaranteed that irrespective of the results in Paris and in Turin, Alcaraz will end 2022 as the top-ranked player.

“Well, I’m lucky to end the year as No. 1. That’s all I can say. I mean, this is almost always you can say, as you said, but, I mean, it has been a great year for me,” he said.

“But I’m gonna end the year like the previous ones. You know, when I finish the last tournaments, I’m going to have holidays, and then really focus to have a good preseason. I want to focus on the starting next season as great as I can, starting in Australia with all the focus, you know, on the Australian Open. I mean, it’s gonna be a normal end of year for me.”

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