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Carlos Alcaraz Is the Youngest Ever to Be No. 1 in ATP Rankings After US Open Win

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 12, 2022

AP Photo/John Minchillo

The impressive start to Carlos Alcaraz's professional tennis career has now reached record-setting status.

The U.S. Open champion became the youngest player in history to sit atop the ATP rankings after his 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 win over Casper Ruud on Sunday.

Eurosport @eurosport

The achievements just keep coming from him! <a href="https://t.co/9AooTa6xUT">pic.twitter.com/9AooTa6xUT</a>

Tennis TV @TennisTV

At 19 years 4 months - the YOUNGEST ATP No.1 EVER ๐Ÿคฏ<br><br>๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ CARL1TOS ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USOpen</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/carlosalcaraz?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@carlosalcaraz</a> <a href="https://t.co/1BVjEifDB1">pic.twitter.com/1BVjEifDB1</a>

The previous youngest player to hold the top ranking was Lleyton Hewitt in 2001, at 20 years old and 268 days. Alcaraz, at 19 years and 130 days, comes in more than a full year younger.

So in the course of a few days, he played in his first Grand Slam final, won it and made history as the youngest player atop the rankings. He also was the first player in 30 years to win three straight five-set matches at the U.S. Open to reach the final, per ESPN.

And he was the second-youngest winner in the history of the U.S. Open, behind only Pete Sampras in 1990.

"Well, this is something that I dreamed of since I was a kid," Alcarez said after his win. "It's something I worked really, really hard [for]. It's tough to talk right now. A lot of emotions.''

"He's one of these few rare talents that comes up every now and then in sports. That's what it seems like,'' Ruud added. "Let's see how his career develops, but it's going all in the right direction.''

Dan Wolken @DanWolken

Juan Carlos Ferrero, the coach of Alcaraz, said "I think he's on 60% of his game. He can improve a lot of things. He knows and I know that we have to keep working." If that's what 60% of Alcaraz potential looks like, I can't imagine what 100% will be.

At a time when the previous generation of stars are either retiring (Serena Williams) or winding down in their careers (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic), the U.S. Open represented what might be next in tennis.

It's winners, Alcaraz and Iga ลšwiฤ…tek, offered a glimpse into the future. Tennis appears to be in good hands.

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