May 9, 2022 - Sports

Changing of the guard in men's tennis

Carlos Alcaraz holds a trophy after winning the Madrid Open.

Photo: Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Carlos Alcaraz, 19, won the Madrid Open on Sunday, cruising to a 6-3, 6-1 rout over world No. 3 Alexander Zverev in just 62 minutes.

Why it matters: The Spaniard is the youngest ever to win this tournament, and he reached the final by beating No. 4 Rafael Nadal and No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarters and semis, respectively.

  • Wild stat: Alcaraz is the youngest player to beat three top-five players in the same ATP event since the tour debuted in 1990, and he did so on the three consecutive days after his 19th birthday.

The big picture: No one is having a better year than Alcaraz, whose phenomenal 2022 season has vaulted him to a career-high No. 6.

  • His four titles (Madrid, Miami, Barcelona, Rio) and 28-3 record both lead the ATP Tour this year.
  • Including his first career title last year in Croatia, Alcaraz is now the youngest five-time champion since Nadal won seven titles by the same age in 2005.

What they're saying: "Right now, you are the best player in the world," Zverev said after the match.

  • "Even though you are still five years old, you are ... beating us all, so it's great to see for tennis that we have such a new superstar who is going to win so many Grand Slams and is going to be world No. 1."
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