Alcaraz becomes youngest year-end number one; Nadal, Djokovic script history
According to the 2022 year-end ATP Rankings published on Monday, Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz finished as the top-ranked player. The 19-year-old has become the youngest top-ranked player in 50 editions of the year-end ATP Rankings. Alcaraz's compatriot and 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal finished at number two. Notably, Alcaraz and Nadal are the first countrymen to finish in the Top 2 since 1996.
Why does this story matter?
- Alcaraz finished as number 32 at the end of 2021.
- An incredible run in 2022 helped him make a meteoric rise.
- He won five of his six ATP titles this year, including a record-breaking US Open honor.
- Alcaraz, 19, became the youngest Grand Slam champion since Nadal, who won the French Open in 2005.
- Alcaraz has the third-most wins in 2022 (57-13).
Records scripted by Alcaraz
As stated, Alcaraz, 19, has become the youngest top-ranked player in 50 editions of the year-end ATP Rankings. As per ATP, he is the first player other than Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray to finish number one since Andy Roddick in 2003. The Spaniard made the biggest jump to year-end number one in ATP Rankings history.
2022 year-end ATP Rankings
A look at the 2022 year-end ATP Rankings: 1) Alcaraz, 2) Nadal, 3) Casper Ruud, 4) Stefanos Tsitsipas, 5) Djokovic, 6) Felix Auger-Aliassime, 7) Daniil Medvedev, 8) Andrey Rublev, 9) Taylor Fritz, and 10) Hubert Hurkacz.
Nadal attains these feats
Nadal, who won the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year, finished second in the year-end ATP Rankings. The 36-year-old has become the oldest to finish in the Top 2. Nadal finished in the Top 10 for a record-equaling 18th consecutive year (emulates Federer). Alcaraz and Nadal are the first countrymen to finish first and second since Americans Pete Sampras and Michael Chang (1996).
Nadal finishes with a 39-8 win-loss record
In January, the Spaniard defied all odds to win the Australian Open. He broke a tie with Federer and Djokovic in terms of Grand Slam titles. Nadal then went on to claim a record-extending 14th French Open title. Although injury marred his plight at Wimbledon, the 36-year-old was ruthless en route to the semi-finals. Nadal finished the season with a 39-8 win-loss record.
Comparisons with Nadal!
Alcaraz has emerged as an all-round player who endorses an aggressive style of play from the baseline. He relies on his forehand, which has helped him earn several winners. Like Nadal, the Spaniard also pushes back his opponent with a barrage of groundstrokes. Alcaraz dishes out incredible sprints to cover the court. All these attributes compel the experts to compare him with Nadal.
What about Djokovic?
Djokovic recently clinched his sixth ATP Finals title after beating Ruud in the summit clash. The 35-year-old became the oldest champion in the tournament's history. Djokovic secured five ATP titles this year, including his 21st Grand Slam at Wimbledon. He also won a record-extending 38th ATP Masters 1000 crown (Italian Open). Djokovic finished in the Top 5 for the 15th time in 16 years.
Other interesting records
Three players held the top spot in 2022 - Alcaraz (16 weeks), Djokovic (20 weeks), and Medvedev (16 weeks). According to ATP, Alcaraz and Medvedev are the first pair of players to climb to the top in the same season since Roddick and Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2003. Hurkacz is the only Polish player to finish in the Top 10 (second consecutive year).