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The statistics that defined 2022 – Alcaraz becomes the youngest No 1 in history

Carlos Alcaraz rewrote the ATP record books when it comes to teenagers in 2022.

Carlos Alcaraz, US Open 2022 Carlos Alcaraz, US Open 2022 | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Prior to 2022, tennis aficionados had Carlos Alcaraz on their watch list. The talented Spaniard, who started his campaign at the age of 18 and with a ranking of 32, was most certainly ticketed for big things. Some, like four-time Grand Slam champion Jim Courier, believed that Alcaraz was capable of becoming the first teenager to win a major title since Rafael Nadal in 2005. 

Little did we know that Alcaraz would do that and more as he made history at every turn on his way to becoming the youngest world No.1 in ATP history in 2022. 

To cement his accomplishment, Alcaraz finished the season at No 1, becoming the youngest player to ever accomplish the feat. 

Remarkably, Alcaraz won’t turn 20 until May 5th, so be on the lookout for more incredible achievements by the teenager in the first four months of the 2023 season. 

In the meantime, let’s take a look back at the breathtaking list of accomplishments tallied by Carlitos in 2022: 

At Rio, became the youngest ATP 500 champion in history

It was just the beginning. Alcaraz defeated Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini in the same day to reach the final, then recovered quickly to knock off Diego Schwartzman in the final.

At Indian Wells, became the second-youngest men’s semi-finalist in 46-year history of BNP Paribas Open

After wins over Roberto Bautista Agut, Gael Monfils and Cameron Norrie, Alcaraz fell to Nadal in an epic, wind-addled three-set semi-final.

“I don’t have many doubts that he will be great,” Nadal said at the time. “He is already, by the way.”

At Miami, became the youngest men’s champion and 1st Spanish men’s champion in 37-year history of the Miami Open

Two weeks later Alcaraz was raising the trophy in Miami, where he clobbered Casper Ruud in the final (after defeating Cilic and Hurkacz to get there).

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal at the 2022 Madrid Open
Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal at the 2022 Madrid Open Image Credit: Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic

At Madrid, Alcaraz became the youngest men’s champion in 20-year history of Mutua Madrid Open, and the youngest player to defeat Djokovic and Nadal and first to do so at same clay-court event

Wow, just wow. Alcaraz powered past Nadal (6-2, 1-6, 6-3) and Djokovic (6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(5)) on back-to-back days before annihilating Zverev (6-3, 6-1) in the Madrid final.

Thanks to his work at Miami and Madrid, Alcaraz became the second-youngest player to reach two ATP Masters 1000 finals in 285-event series history.

Carlos Alcaraz USO 2022
Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic

On 25 April, became youngest player to break into Top 10 since Rafael Nadal, 18, on 25 April 2005

Alcaraz stayed hot on the European clay, winning the Barcelona title (d. Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-2 in the final), and achieved his top-10 milestone.

At the US Open Alcaraz became the youngest US Open men’s singles champion since Pete Sampras in 1990 and the youngest Grand Slam men’s singles champion since Nadal in 2005

Though he didn’t prevail at Roland-Garros or Wimbledon, Alcaraz made good on his promise in Flushing Meadows. No one will ever forget the Spaniard’s electrifying victory over Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals, where he saved three match points in what many remember as the best match of 2022. He went on to defeat Frances Tiafoe in the semi-finals and Casper Ruud in the final to raise the trophy.

On the day after the US Open, Alcaraz became the youngest No 1 in ATP history at the age of 19 years and 214 days

A day later, Alcaraz became the first teenager to ever hold the ATP’s No 1 ranking. And he would hold on to it for the rest of the season…

Carlos Alcaraz Nitto ATP Finals Turin 2022
Carlos Alcaraz Nitto ATP Finals Turin 2022 || AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Alcaraz is also the youngest year-end No.1 in ATP history

He ends the season at the top of the rankings table…

Alcaraz, who completed his season with a 57-13 record and five titles, is on the fast track to becoming the most dominant post-Big Three player.

What will happen next for Carlitos?

We are eager to find out…

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