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Carlos Alcaraz caps (another) breakthrough week with Madrid crown
The Spaniard, who turned 19 three days ago, is now the youngest man ever to win the Masters 1000 event.
Published May 08, 2022
Carlos Alcaraz capped yet another breakthrough week on Sunday, capturing his second Masters 1000 title of the year—and the fifth ATP title of his career—in Madrid with a 6-3, 6-1 final victory over defending champion Alexander Zverev.
The 19-year-old Spaniard, who became the youngest man ever to win Miami earlier this year, is now the youngest man ever to win Madrid, too.
Though he’s had a phenomenal first four months of 2022, Alcaraz came into the Madrid final as a little bit of an underdog on paper—not only was he the lower-ranked player, No. 9 to No. 3, but he had also lost his only two previous meetings to Zverev routinely in straight sets, both last year in Acapulco (6-3, 6-1) and Vienna (6-3, 6-3).
But Alcaraz is undoubtedly playing much, much better than his ranking now.
After coming close to breaking in Zverev’s second service game of the match, Alcaraz pounced in his third service game, breaking at love for a 4-2 lead, and the two held from there until the Spanish teenager had the 31-minute opening set in his pocket.
After Zverev held in the first game of the second set Alcaraz went on a tear, reeling off the next six games in a row to completely run away with the 62-minute match.
Even if he hadn’t won the final, it was already a historic week for Alcaraz after his victories over Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals and semifinals:
~ He’s the first teenager ever to beat Nadal on clay.
~ He’s the youngest player ever to beat Nadal and Djokovic at the same event.
~ He’s the youngest player ever to have wins over both Nadal and Djokovic.
~ He’s the first player ever to beat Nadal and Djokovic at the same event on clay.
The Spaniard, who just turned 19 three days ago, now has more ATP titles (four) and match wins (28) than anyone else on the men’s tour this year.
He's also 5-0 in his career in ATP finals, winning them all in straight sets—he beat Richard Gasquet in the Umag final last summer, 6-2, 6-2, and this year he’s beaten Diego Schwartzman in the Rio final, 6-4, 6-2, Casper Ruud in the Miami final, 7-5, 6-4, Pablo Carreno Busta in the Barcelona final, 6-3, 6-2, and now Zverev in Madrid.
He’s now won his last seven matches in a row against Top 10 players, too, having beaten three in Miami (Stefanos Tsitsipas, Hubert Hurkacz and Ruud), one in Barcelona (Tsitsipas) and now another three in Madrid (Nadal, Djokovic and Zverev).
And with his wins over No. 4 Nadal, No. 1 Djokovic and No. 3 Zverev in the last three days, he’s the first man to beat three Top 4 players at the same event since David Nalbandian beat the Big 3 (Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer) at Madrid in 2007.