Carlos Alcaraz of Spain won the Madrid Open on Sunday, capping off a magical week in which he defeated World No. 3 Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-1.
Alcaraz, who did not face a breakpoint in a dominant performance against the German, will move up to second in the ATP Race To Turin on Monday, aiming to make his debut at the prestigious ATP Finals in November.
After winning in Miami in March, the 19-year-old became the second-youngest player to win two Masters 1000 titles with his 62-minute victory. Rafael Nadal won titles in Monte Carlo and Rome when he was 18 years old.
In a dream week on home soil, the seventh seed also became the first player to defeat both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the same clay-court tournament. It is the first time a player has defeated three of the top four stars in a Masters 1000 event since David Nalbandian in Madrid in 2007. When the tournament was played on hardcourt, Nalbandian defeated Djokovic, Nadal, and Roger Federer in Madrid.
“I want to congratulate Carlitos. Right now you are the best player in the world,” Zverev said during the trophy ceremony.
“It is great for tennis that we have such a new superstar that is going to win so many Grand Slams, that is going to be World No. 1 and I think is going to win this tournament many more times,” he added.
When he made his Madrid debut a year ago, Alcaraz was ranked No. 120 in the ATP Rankings. However, after winning five tour-level titles since, he will be ranked No. 6 in the ATP Rankings on Monday.
Along with Masters 1000 titles in Miami and Madrid, the 2021 Next Gen ATP Finals champion has trophies in Umag, Rio de Janeiro, and Barcelona in the last year, making him the Tour’s youngest five-time winner since Rafael Nadal won seven titles at the age of 19 in 2004-05. Alcaraz has yet to lose an ATP Tour final after winning his last ten matches.
Alcaraz used his power from the baseline to successfully target Zverev’s forehand in a dominant first set performance. With his agility, the 19-year-old constantly turned defence into attack, gaining the crucial break in the sixth game before serving well to take the lead. Alcaraz continued to put his foot down in the second set, as his depth, width, and weight of shot troubled Zverev, who was unable to control his groundstrokes, according to atptour.com.
With his great touch, the Spaniard pushed the second seed around and returned aggressively, breaking three times in the second set as he cruised to victory. Alcaraz is now 1-2 in his ATP Head to Head series against Zverev, avenging defeats in Acapulco and Vienna last year.
Zverev was attempting to win his third title in Madrid, having previously won in 2018 and 2021. The German defeated Marin Cilic, Lorenzo Musetti, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and Stefanos Tsitsipas on his way to his second season final in Madrid, after reaching the championship match in Montpellier in February.
(Inputs from IANS)