Tennis, Alcaraz and the golden climb: in one year from 120 to 9 in the world

The Spaniard is the ninth youngest in the ATP top 10, but none of them have managed to climb more than 100 places in 12 months like him

At 18 years, 11 months and 20 days old, Carlos Alcaraz breaks into the top ten for the first time in his career thanks to his victory in the final against his compatriot Pablo Carreño Busta in Barcelona. A 6-3 6-2 without history, as without history is the gallop that led the young Asturian to become not only the twentieth top 10 Spanish in the computer era, but even the ninth youngest in history after Aaron Krickstein ( 17 years), Michael Chang (17 years and 3 months), Boris Becker (17 years and 7 months), Mats Wilander (17 years and 10 months), Bjorn Borg (17 years and 11 months), Andre Agassi (18 years and one month), Andrei Medvedev (18 years and 9 months) and Rafael Nadal (18 years and 10 months).

a golden year

In the ranking of 52 weeks ago (the ranking of April 26, 2021), Alcaraz was only number 120 in the world and this morning he is number 9. In 12 months he climbed 111 places and achieved 4 successes (Umago, Rio de Janeiro , Miami and Barcelona). There have been tennis players (see Boris Becker) who at Alcaraz’s age had already won Wimbledon twice or who were going (see Borg) to win Roland Garros for the second time. However, none of the ten youngest has managed to climb more than 100 positions in 12 months as the young Spaniard did. Rafael Nadal, at the same age (end of May 2005), had won 6 tournaments (Sopot 2004, Costa do Sauipe, Acapulco, Montecarlo, Barcelona and Rome 2005), was number 5 in the world (number 49 twelve months before) and was preparing to conquer his first of 13 Roland Garros. Andrei Medvedev, at the same age (end of August 1993), had won 5 tournaments (Genoa, Stuttgart and Bordeuax 1992, Estoril, Barcelona 1993), was number 8 in the world (number 40 twelve months earlier) and was he was preparing to conquer the New Haven tournament in the final over Petr Korda. Andre Agassi, at the same age (end of April 1989), had won 7 tournaments (Itaparica 1987, Memphis, Charleston, Forest Hills, Stuttgart, Stratton Mountain and Livingston 1998), was number 4 in the world (number 16 twelve months earlier) and was preparing to play the Internazionali d’Italia that would have been his lot if he missed a match point in the final against Alberto Mancini. Bjorn Borg, at the same age (end of May 1975), had won 10 tournaments (Auckland, London, Sao Paulo, Rome, Paris, Bastad, Boston and Adalaide 1974, Richmond and Bologna 1975), was number 5 in the world (n° 11 twelve months earlier) and was preparing to repeat the title at Roland Garros by beating Argentine Guillermo Vilas in a final without history. Mats Wilander, at the same age (it was mid-August 1983), had won 8 tournaments (Roland Garros, Bastad, Geneva and Barcelona 1982, Monte Carlo, Lisbon and Aix-en-Provende 1983), was number 5 in the (No. 10 twelve months earlier) and was preparing to triumph in Cincinnati in the final over John McEnroe. Boris Becker, at the same age (mid-November 1986), had won 8 tournaments (Queen’s, Wimbledon and Cincinnati 1985, Chicago, Wimbledon, Canadian Open, Sydney and Tokyo 1986), was number 2 in the world (no .º 5 twelve months earlier) and was preparing to win the first edition of the Paris-Bercy tournament in the final against Spaniard Sergio Casal. Michael Chang, at the same age (mid-February 1991), had won 4 tournaments (San Francisco 1988, Roland Garros and Wembley 1989, Canada Open 1990), was number 16 in the world (6 twelve months earlier) and they have committed another two months to return to the top. Finally Aaron Krickstein, the earliest of all the top 10, at the same age (end of July 1986), had won 4 tournaments (Tel Aviv 1983, Boston, Tel Aviv and Geneva 1984) and was number 38 in the world ( n ° 20 twelve months before).


The comparison for us Italians is with what Jannik Sinner or Adriano Panatta did. Sinner, as of early August 2020, had yet to win anything and was number 73 in the ATP rankings frozen due to a pandemic. Panatta, for his part, had made his debut at the Australian Open and at Roland Garros in early July 1969, losing respectively in the first round to Terry Addison and Hans Jurgen Pohmann.


The Spanish top ten: Manuel Orantes, José Higueras, Juan Aguilera, Emilio Sanchez, Sergi Bruguera, Carlos Costa, Alberto Berasategui, Carlos Moya, Alber Costa, Alex Corretja, Felix Mantilla, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo , Fernando Verdasco, Nicolás Almagro, Pablo Carreño Busta, Roberto Bautista Agut and Carlos Alcaraz.


The tennis players who have reached the top 10 from 1973 to now. Spain, with 20 players, is the second largest nation after the United States that adds 32 top 10 players. 2 the new top 10 of 2022. The first was the British Cameron Norrie on April 4, 2022 and the second is today Carlos Alcaraz. In 2021, the new top 10 were 4: Casper Ruud on September 13, Hubert Hurkacz on October 18, Jannik Sinner on November 1, and Felix Auger Aliassime on November 15. In 2020 instead Shapovalov, Schwartzman and Rublev. 2 seasons in the last 35 years that have had at least 8 new top 10s: 2006 with 8 (Ferrer, Blake, Gonzalez, Robredo, Ancic, Stepanek, Baghdatis and Berdych) and 1991 with 8 (Forger, Courier, Svensson, Bruguera, Stich, Gustafsson, Novacek, and Korda).

Leave a Comment