Is Carlos Alcaraz following footsteps of Rafael Nadal? Key stats
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz recently won the US Open after defeating Casper Ruud in the men's singles final. The former won 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-3 to clinch his first Grand Slam title. Alcaraz, 19, became the youngest Grand Slam champion since Rafael Nadal, who won the French Open in 2005. Alcaraz is certainly following the footsteps of countryman Nadal. Here are the stats.
Alcaraz has six ATP titles
Alcaraz secured his sixth ATP title at the US Open. He won five of these this season (most), including ATP Masters 1000 trophies in Miami and Madrid. Notably, the Spaniard has won four of his six titles on clay courts. He claimed his maiden ATP title in Umag last year. Alcaraz has a win-loss record of 84-27 on the ATP Tour.
Alcaraz matched Nadal's feats in 2021
In 2021, Alcaraz became the youngest to win a match in the Madrid Open history. He broke the 18-year-old record of Nadal (from 2004). Alcaraz then won his maiden ATP title by defeating Richard Gasquet in the Umag final. He became the youngest man from Spain to win an ATP title since Nadal in 2004 (won in Sopot).
Nadal was off to a similar start
Nadal also won his maiden ATP title on clay (2004). A year later, the Spaniard clinched as many as 11 titles, including eight on clay. Nadal won four Masters 1000 titles that year (Monte-Carlo, Rome, Canada, and Madrid).
Alcaraz broke these records in Madrid
Earlier this year, Alcaraz became the youngest to win the Madrid Open. He is the second-youngest player to win two ATP Masters 1000 titles after Nadal (in 2005). Alcaraz defeated Nadal in the quarter-finals, the youngest teenager to beat him on clay. The former then overcame top seed Novak Djokovic. Alcaraz became the first-ever player to beat Djokovic and Nadal in consecutive clay-court matches.
Alcaraz scripted history at the US Open
In July, Alcaraz became the youngest player to enter the Top 5 of the ATP Rankings since Nadal in 2005. Alcaraz then became the second-youngest man to win the US Open title in the Open Era, at 19 years and 129 days. The historic title has catapulted him to the top of the ATP Rankings, the youngest with this feat since 1973.
Why is Alcaraz compared 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.
Nadal is miles ahead!
All cheeky comparisons notwithstanding, one has to admit that Nadal is miles ahead of Alcaraz. The latter just won his maiden Grand Slam title, while Nadal is the master of all with 22 majors. The 36-year-old, also known as the King of Clay, has won 14 of those at the French Open. Nadal is a veteran of 92 ATP titles.