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 place himself in the top 10 at 18 years old. He didn’t stop there, the youngster hoisting another Masters 1000 trophy before his 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 ATP finals on clay in July and entered the US Open as world number 4.
He saved a match point in the quarterfinal against Jannik Sinner and edged past Frances Tiafoe to reach his first major tournament final as a 19-year-old. Alcaraz battled for the ATP throne and a Major title against Casper Ruud and defeated 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 Félix 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 training prior to the Australian Open, where he was one of the favourites.
The Tennis TV teams had the good idea to ask a few players for their favorite shot. Carlos Alcaraz, extremely good at distilling drop shots, therefore mentioned this weapon that he uses quite often. Except against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, it’s usually another story.
“In front of Rafa Nadal, it must be recognized that it is very difficult to win a point with a drop shot, either against him or against Novak Djokovic.”
Alcaraz is the youngest ATP World No. 1 in history
Carlos Alcaraz has hailed his compatriot Rafael Nadal as the person he idolised while growing up.
“He was my childhood idol, and he is the idol of all Spanish fans of tennis and sports in general because of his career, his charisma, his work, his mentality,” he said. “I achieved my dream very quickly, and it took me a bit by surprise,” said Alcaraz.
“I need and want to continue improving, that is the key. I like to play tennis beyond the results and I want to continue enjoying it. Despite having been number one, I have many things to improve”.