Carlos Alcaraz, the 19-year-old Spaniard, became the new Madrid Open champion after recently beating Germany's Alexander Zverev in the summit clash. The teenager displayed nerves of steel and ran over Zverev in straight sets, to emerge on top 6-3, 6-1.
Defeating Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal enroute Madrid Open title
Before his title win, Alcaraz had made heads turn in the sporting fraternity enroute the finale. In the quarter-finals, the teen sensation beat his idol Nadal 6-2, 1-6, 6-3. In the semis, he faced World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and beat the Serbian 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(5), in 3 hours, 36 minutes before lifting his second Masters 1000 title in the summit clash.
By beating both Nadal and Djokovic, Alcaraz attained a huge feat. He became the first male player to get the better of the two senior pros Nadal and Djokovic — who have combined to win 41 Grand Slam titles — in the same clay court event and the 12th on all surfaces, according to the ATP. In addition, he became the only teenager to beat Nadal on clay.
Carlos' playing style similar to Nadal
Carlos' playing style which has been deemed very similar to Nadal. Just like Nadal, the 19-year-old sensation relies more on using his forehand on groundstrokes. Similarly, he has a knack for controlling and winning points from the baseline like his senior compatriot.
Alcaraz also means business on the court and doesn't shy away from showing his aggression and emotions on the court.
Reliving Carlos' achievements in his brief career so far
Carlos stunned everyone and became the youngest player to reach the round 4 of US Open 2021 after emerging on top of the then World No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in a five-set epic clash. Earlier in the year, Alcaraz had made his grand slam debut with Australian Open. He made it to round 2 of the showpiece event Down Under and the same fate followed for him in the Wimbledon whereas his run ended at the 3rd round in the French Open (where he became the youngest player to reach the R32 at Roland Garros since 1992).
Notably, Alcaraz is the fifth-youngest player to earn a win at all four Grand Slam tournaments. Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker, and Goran Ivanisevic are three of the four players to have earned the feat at a younger age.
With his aggression, strong forehand and covering the dimensions of the court, Alcaraz has been hailed by many and termed to be one of the next-big-things in men's tennis.
Carlos Alcaraz - Rises to career-best No. 6
Carlos Alcaraz rose to a career-best No. 6 in latest ATP Rankings following his Madrid Open triumph. A year ago, the Spaniard was ranked 120 as many had termed him a promising prospect for the future but with lots to learn. In the next 12 months, Alcaraz's rise has been one to watch out for.
He is now rubbing shoulders with the big guns and holds the No. 6 spot, with Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Nadal leading the rankings.