Alcaraz is youngest since Nadal in top 10 after Barcelona win

Placeholder while loading article actions

BARCELONA, Spain — Exactly 17 years ago, 18-year-old Rafael Nadal began to capture the attention of the tennis world by winning the Barcelona Open and breaking into the top 10 for the first time.

Carlos Alcaraz followed in his hero’s footsteps on Sunday, also winning his first Barcelona title and cracking the men’s top 10 for the first time at the same age.

Alcaraz continued their impressive run by beating Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets for their third title of the season, winning the all-Spanish match 6-3, 6-2 after reaching the final hours earlier in a semi-final match. Final postponed. from Saturday due to rain.

“It means a lot,” Alcaraz said. “I’ve watched this tournament since I was a kid. I always wanted to play in this tournament and of course be able to win this tournament. I’m really, really happy to be on the list for Spanish history.

Alcaraz was guaranteed to enter the top 10 after reaching the semi-finals. He will be No.9 when the new rankings come out on Monday, making him the youngest player in the top 10 since Nadal did so after winning his first trophy at Barcelona in 2005.

Like Nadal at the time, Alcaraz entered the tournament as the 11th player in the world. A record 21-time Grand Slam winner, Nadal has never left the top 10 since then.

Rafa Nadal’s center court victory in Barcelona capped off a long day for Alcaraz, who needed 3 hours and 39 minutes to beat Alex de Minaur 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6- 4 in the semi-finals. morning game.

Carreno Busta, 30, ranked 19th and chasing his seventh tour title, beat Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour and 39 minutes in his semi-final on Sunday.

Alcaraz broke serve twice in each set to claim victory in the final.

Alcaraz won titles in Rio de Janeiro in February and in Miami earlier this month. His first touring title came to Umag last year.

Rain has plagued Barcelona’s outdoor clay tournament all week. Both semi-finals were suspended tied 2-2 in the first set on Saturday.

More AP Tennis: and


Comments are closed.