Carlos Alcaraz becomes youngest top 5 player since Rafael Nadal, eighth youngest of all time

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Carlos Alcaraz, 19, became the youngest player to reach the top five of the world rankings since Rafael Nadal on Monday. Despite narrowly losing the final of the Hamburg European Open 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 to Lorenzo Musetti, the Spaniard made a huge leap in the rankings.

Alcaraz is eighth on the all-time list since rankings have been computed. At the top of the list is Michael Chang, the youngest men’s Grand Slam winner of all time. The American won the 1989 French Open at the age of 17. Boris Becker and Mats Wilander, the only other two under-18 Major winners, are also on the list.

Also on the list are all-time greats like Bjorn Borg, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, while Nadal is placed sixth. The 22-time Grand Slam champion reached the top five at 18, shortly before he won his first Major at the 2005 French Open.

Youngest Top 5 players

Source: Ultimate Tennis Statistics

Alcaraz is undoubtedly the most exciting men’s player of the modern era. The Spaniard became the youngest Grand Slam quarterfinalist since 1990 at the US Open last year, and the third-youngest Masters 1000 champion in Miami earlier this year.

After defeating Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Alexander Zverev back-to-back-to-back for the Madrid Open title, Alcaraz came into the French Open as one of the favourites, an unprecedented feat for a teenager at a time when the Majors are still dominated by Nadal and Djokovic.

He will now be focusing on getting into rhythm ahead of the US Open in August, to make a landmark year – which has seen him win four titles and notch up eight top-10 wins – even better. With Djokovic’s participation in doubt due to his unvaccinated status, and Nadal and Zverev still reeling from injury, the 19-year-old will be fancying his chances in New York.

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