Rafael Nadal keeps ranking milestone ahead of Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz claimed the first Major title at the US Open. The 19-year-old used his opportunity and toppled seven rivals to become the seventh-youngest Major winner in the Open era. Also, the Spaniard became world no. 1 on Monday, writing history as the only teenager on the ATP throne.

Alcaraz was fourth ahead of the US Open and has entered the top-3 and top-2 for the first time. Carlos is the fourth-youngest top-2 player since the start of the ATP ranking in 1973, joining Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal on the list of teenagers who have accomplished that.

Bjorn Borg did that in 1975, and Boris Becker followed that in 1986. We had to wait for almost two decades for another teenager in the top-2, with Rafael Nadal entering the group a month after securing the first Major crown in Paris.

Carlos Alcaraz joined the party 17 years after the older Spaniard, cracking the top-2 at 19 years and four months and writing the history books. Carlos is three months older than Rafa at the time of entering the top-2, and it’s still a massive achievement that will be hard to repeat for the upcoming youngsters.

Alcaraz wrapped up the 2021 season with the Vienna semi-final and the third round in Paris before conquering the ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan. Carlos kicked off the 2022 season from just outside the top-30 and pushed Matteo Berrettini to the limits at the Australian Open, losing in the deciding tie break.

In February, Alcaraz became the youngest ATP 500 champion in Rio de Janeiro and cracked the top-20 a day later. The youngster lost an epic Indian Wells semi-final to Rafael Nadal before bouncing back in Miami to become the third-youngest Masters 1000 champion!

At that point, a place in the top-10 became inevitable, and Carlos found himself in the elite group after winning his second ATP 500 crown in Barcelona.

Carlos Alcaraz is the fourth-youngest top-2 player, just behind Rafael Nadal.

Not stopping there, a teenager toppled Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Alexander Zverev en route to his second Masters 1000 crown in Madrid.

Carlos lost to Zverev in the Roland Garros quarter-final before falling to Jannik Sinner in the Wimbledon fourth round. Lorenzo Musetti and Jannik Sinner were too strong for Alcaraz in back-to-back ATP finals in Hamburg and Umag, and he won only two matches in Montreal and Cincinnati.

Carlos saved his best tennis for the US Open, beating three rivals in a row in five sets and moving into the title clash. Alcaraz defeated Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 in three hours and 20 minutes for the most significant success of his young career and a place in the record books.

The Spaniard clinched the more essential points, saving two set points in the third set and controlling the pace to lift the trophy.

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