Carlos Alcaraz Joins Idol Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin Del Potro and Others in Elite List After Breaking into Top-100

Published 05/24/2021, 5:40 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 5, 2021 Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz Garfia in action during his round of 32 match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Sergio Perez


At 18, Carlos Alcaraz is already being touted as one who would eventually take the proverbial torch from his idol, Rafael Nadal. The rising tennis star from El Palmar, Murcia in Spain has left the tennis world in awe with his dazzling talent and even had his moment of wish-fulfillment on his 18th birthday when he posed for pictures with the ‘King of Clay’ after losing to him in Madrid.

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Seven of his eight career wins have come this year, taking the young Spaniard to a ranking place which only four others have achieved at his age or younger.

Carlos Alcaraz rose to No. 94 in singles at the age of 18 on Monday

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Alcaraz has become the youngest after Nadal, Frenchman Richard Gasquet, fellow countryman Borna Coric and Grand Slam champion, Juan Martin del Potro, to break into the Top-100 in singles. The 18-year-old reached a career-high ranking of 94 on Monday, moving 20 places from where he was previously.

However, Nadal remains the youngest to be ranked inside the Top-100 in singles. He was ranked No. 96 at the age of 16 on April 21, 2003. Gasquet, who is still going strong in the circuit, was ranked No. 95 at the age of 17 on September 29, 2003. Coric, however, was ranked the highest among all the players inside the Top-100 in the list, taking the No. 93 slot at the age of 17 on October 27, 2014. Del Potro, the veteran Argentine who has been out injured since 2019, was ranked No. 99 at the age of 18 on October 9, 2006.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 5, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz Garfia after their round of 32 match REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Carlos Alcaraz received a tennis masterclass from Rafael Nadal in Madrid

Making a wildcard entry to the Madrid Open, Alcaraz made an immediate impression on the tennis world with a 6-4, 6-0 takedown of French star Adrian Mannarino in his first match. However, he ran into his idol next and received a tennis masterclass from Nadal as he was humbled 6-1, 6-2.

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But even in his resounding defeat, there were moments when the youngster showed flashes of brilliance.

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“Now in Paris Against Rafa”: Carlos Alcaraz Challenges Rafael Nadal at French Open 2021

28 days ago

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Coached by 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, Alcaraz followed up his Madrid disappointment with the Open De Oeiras III title in Portugal and will play Slovakian Lukas Lacko in his first French Open qualifier on Tuesday.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

990 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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