Carlos Alcaraz pushed Rafael Nadal to the limit in the Indian Wells semifinal and lost after more than three hours. Carlos went all the way two weeks later in Miami and became the third youngest Masters 1000 champion after Michael Chang and Rafael Nadal.
Alcaraz conquered Barcelona at the end of April to add two consecutive ATP 500 titles and rank in the top 10 at 18 years old. He didn’t stop there, the youngster hoisting another Masters 1000 trophy in front of the home crowd in Madrid in May after impressive victories over Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev.
Carlos added more valuable points with the Roland Garros quarterfinals, where he gave it his all but lost to Alexander Zverev. After a short grass-court campaign, Alcaraz lost two consecutive clay-court ATP finals in July and entered the US Open ranked No.4 in the world.
He saved a match point in the quarterfinal against Jannik Sinner and edged past Frances Tiafoe to reach her first major tournament final as a 19-year-old. Alcaraz battled for the ATP throne and a Major title against Casper Ruud and beat the Norwegian 6-4 2-6 7-6 6-3 to write the history books.
The Spaniard thus became the first teenager to occupy the throne of the ATP. Carlos lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Basel semifinals and reached the quarterfinals in Paris. The young number one in the world is already working on his recovery with his team after suffering a muscle injury in a training session prior to the Australian Open, where he was one of his favorites.
His place at the top of the ranking could be taken by Casper Ruud, if he reaches the final in the first Major of the year, by Djokovic or Tsitsipas, if they win the tournament held at Melbourne Park.
Carlos Alcaraz wants to shine
The Tennis TV teams had the good idea to ask some players about their favorite shot.
Carlos Alcaraz, extremely good at distilling drop shots, therefore mentioned this weapon which he uses quite often. Except that against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, it’s often another story. “Faced with Rafa Nadal, it must be recognized that it is very difficult to win a point on a drop shot, whether against him or against Novak Djokovic for that matter.
I think they know very well when I’m going to hit a drop shot. They see the shot even before I realize it. And of course they run forward, you know, they always hit the ball. They are very good at that. Then they hit a counter-bump, and they win the point.”