Records keep tumbling for Carlos Alcaraz, youngest man to reach three slam finals on three surfaces

The Spaniard is the third youngest overall to achieve the feat, after Steffi Graf and Serena Williams

Carlos Alcaraz, Roland-Garros 2024 © Federico Pestellini / Panoramic

For Carlos Alcaraz, the records keep on tumbling.

The Spaniard was already the youngest man ever to become world No 1, of course, after his 2022 US Open victory and now he’s set another, equally impressive one.

At 21 years and 33 days, Alcaraz is the youngest man ever to reach a Grand Slam final on three different surfaces – hard courts, grass and clay – an obvious sign of his all-round ability. His US Open win in 2022 was followed by victory at Wimbledon in 2023 and his win over Jannik Sinner on Friday put him through to the Roland-Garros final, where he will play Alexander Zverev.

Alcaraz likes a good stat and he was well prepared when told, in his press conference, about the significance of reaching the final.

“I knew that,” he said, smiling. “I mean, I check the phone after the win. Yeah, it’s something great. Breaking new records for me is great, great successful for me.

“Honestly, before the final is something that I really don’t want to think about it, but obviously that means that, as I said, I’m playing a good tennis in every surface, that is something that I really wanted to do when I started in the tour.”

The achievement has to be put in perspective, since until the US Open moved to Flushing Meadows in 1978, three of the four slams were played on grass. Novak Djokovic is the only active player to have won a Grand Slam title on all three surfaces and should Alcaraz win on Sunday, he’ll be the youngest man to do it and the third-youngest overall to achieve it, after Steffi Graf and Serena Williams.

“I feel more comfortable playing on hard court”

Alcaraz said he always felt he could be successful on every surface, even though he grew up honing his game on clay.

“I always wanted to be one of the best players in the world,” he said. “If I want to be one of the best players in the world, I have to be a good player in every surface, like Roger (Federer) did, Novak, Rafa (Nadal), (Andy) Murray. The best players in the world had success in every surface.

“I consider myself a player who adapt very well his style in every surface. And, well, I grew up playing on clay but I feel more comfortable playing on hard court, for example. I think my game suits very well to the to the clay court, as well. So I just wanted to be a good player in every surface.”

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