3 min read
With 28 wins and three losses, Carlos Alcaraz (UTR Rating 16.11) has won the most matches out of anyone on the ATP Tour in 2022, and at just 19 years old, he's turned into a top threat for every title. Cementing himself inside of the Top 8, the Spaniard just won the Madrid Open with wins over Rafael Nadal (16.17), Novak Djokovic (16.15), and Alexander Zverev (15.92) for his fourth title of the season.
Adding Title After Title, Feat After Feat
Alcaraz is the youngest male champion ever in Madrid and it marks his second ATP Masters 1000 (after Miami). He began his title haul by becoming the youngest champion at the ATP 500 in Rio and in Miami before picking up consecutive titles on clay in Barcelona and Madrid. Before this season, Alcaraz had won just one title, in Umag in 2021.
This season, Alcaraz has scored 11 wins over Top 10 players and has dropped just two matches since losing in the third round of the Australian Open (in a fifth-set tiebreaker to Matteo Berrettini).
“I also emphasize that on the court I'm a very competitive guy,” Alcaraz said. “I don't like to lose. I always try to look for some trick or something to be able to win and I think that's something that characterizes me, one of my key aspects that I try to win.”
Alcaraz is currently ranked No. 6 on the ATP Tour and No. 3 on the UTR Pro Tennis Tour rankings (based on UTR Rating). Only Djokovic and Nadal have higher UTR Ratings than the teenager. He began the year at a UTR Rating of 15.85 and is now well past 16, and just one year ago, he was ranked outside of the ATP Top 100.
“I consider myself a player that’s playing well; the numbers speak by themselves," Alcaraz said. "I think I am doing quite well on clay right now. I don’t consider myself the best player in the world. I think that tomorrow I’m going to be sixth, so I still have five players in front of me to be the best one."
Staying Grounded as He Soars Up the Ranks
His 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 win over Nadal in the Madrid semifinals was his first over the 35-year-old after two losses, making him the first teenager to beat Nadal on clay.
"It's natural," Nadal said. "At the end of the day it's a new generation. It happens during all history
By ousting Djokovic in a third-set tiebreak the very next day, Alcaraz became the youngest player to beat Nadal and Djokovic, and the first player ever to beat them at the same event on clay.
"...Nowadays we are not used to seeing somebody who is a teenager and already getting to
Instead of suffering a letdown in the Madrid final, Alcaraz dismissed Zverev 6-3, 6-1 in just 62 minutes.
CHAMPION IN MADRID 🇪🇸— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) May 8, 2022
19-yo @alcarazcarlos03 dominates Zverev 6-3 6-1 for his 2nd Masters 1000 title and 4th title in 2022! #MMOpen
F: #3 Zverev ✅
SF: #1 Djokovic ✅
QF: #4 Nadal ✅
R16: #11 Norrie ✅ pic.twitter.com/UJHaADiOjf
With Alcaraz pulling out of the ATP 1000 in Rome this week, all talk surrounding the phenom pivots to Roland Garros. Alcaraz will go into the clay-court major on a 10-match win streak. Djokovic is calling him one of the favorites in Paris, where main-draw action will begin on May 22.
"In a Grand Slam, it's completely different," Alcaraz said. "I think that when you have to play to the best-of-five sets, given that the matches are longer, I will tell you that it's different compared to all the rest of the tournaments. But I think that I am ready."
*UTR Ratings as of May 9, 2022 at 9 a.m. EST.