When Rafael Nadal was knocked out of the Nitto ATP Finals semi-finals on Tuesday night, history was made. Nineteen-year-old Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest-ever ATP Year-End No. 1 Presented by Pepperstone (since 1973), becoming the first teenager to accomplish the feat.
The Spaniard has enjoyed an unforgettable rise in 2022, rising from world No. 32 earlier in the year to the top of men’s tennis on September 12. That’s the biggest jump to No. 1 in 50 year-end editions of Pepperstone’s ATP Rankings.
Prior to this year, the youngest year-end ATP No. 1 was Lleyton Hewitt, who was 20 years and 275 days old when he did so in 2001. Alcaraz will turn 19 years, 214 days old on December 5, the year of the final rankings. of year. Date 2022 after the last ATP Challenger Tour events of the season.
Alcaraz is the 18th ATP Year-End No. 1 presented by Pepperstone in history and the first outside the Big Four of Novak Djokovic (7), Roger Federer (5), Nadal (5) and Andy Murray (1) since Andy Roddick in 2003. The 19-year-old joins Nadal (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019) as Spanish number 1 at the end of the year.
Next Gen ATP Finals 2021 champion Intesa Sanpaolo made a splash this year when he became the youngest ATP 500 champion in series history (since 2009) at the Rio Open presented by Claro. The Spaniard followed that victory with his first ATP Masters 1000 triumph in Miami.
Alcaraz led the Tour with two Masters 1000 crowns (Miami and Madrid) and five overall titles in 2022. In Madrid, he knocked out Nadal, Djokovic and then number 3 Alexander Zverev in consecutive games to lift the trophy. Alcaraz’s biggest title run was at the US Open, where he became the youngest men’s singles winner at the US Major since 19-year-old Pete Sampras in 1990.
It was an honor for Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz was on hand at the Pala Alpitour Arena in Turin, Italy on Wednesday to collect his first year-end trophy as World No. 1. «It’s unbelievable that for so many years it was Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Murray, and then a 19-year-old ‘Boy’ comes along and he does it.
It means a lot to me. Being part of tennis history alongside these legends is an incredible feeling,» said Carlos Alcaraz. «All my life, I’ve gone with Rafa and here too, I wanted him to win. Even if he had taken number 1 off me, I would have been happy. I expected Djokovic to win against Tsitsipas because I also have a good relationship with Novak,» he added.