Carlos Alcaraz, 19, won his first Grand Slam championship at the US Open on Sunday, making him the youngest World No. 1 in Pepperstone ATP Rankings history (since 1973).
Alcaraz was ranked 55th in the world when the 2021 US Open began. He became the first adolescent World No. 1 and the fourth Spaniard to achieve the feat with his victory over 23-year-old Casper Ruud in the final match in New York, joining his mentor Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Moya, and Rafael Nadal.
“It’s crazy for me. I’ve never thought that I was going to achieve something like that at 19 years old. So everything came so fast,” Alcaraz said. “For me it’s unbelievable. It’s something I dreamed since I was a kid, since I started playing tennis. Of course, lifting this trophy today is amazing for me.”
The native of Murcia entered Flushing Meadows ranked fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. He shares the record for the biggest jump to the top of the world. In the time between one Pepperstone ATP Rankings release, Moya (15 March 1999), Andre Agassi (5 July 1999), and Pete Sampras all rose from No. 4 to No. 1. (11 September 2000).
Alcaraz has set new records on his way to dominating men’s tennis. He surpassed Rafael Nadal in 2005 to become the second-youngest player to win two ATP Masters 1000 titles (Miami and Madrid) earlier this year. In Rio de Janeiro, Alcaraz also set a record for the youngest ATP 500 champion ever, and he repeated that feat in Barcelona.
With 51 victories this year, the 19-year-old is now five victories ahead of Stefanos Tsitsipas for the ATP Tour lead (46). Alcaraz is in a strong position to become the youngest World No. 1 in history after winning the US Open and moving up to first place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race to Turin.
The Monday following the US Open, Alcaraz became the first male tennis player to ascend to the summit since his mentor, Ferrero, did it in 2003. The men’s singles Grand Slam final between Alcaraz and Ruud featured two players vying for the top spot who had never previously held that position.
Alcaraz is the sixth active player to reach World No. 1, becoming the 28th player to do so. The youngster replaces Daniil Medvedev at the top and joins Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Nadal, Andy Murray, and others.
Alcaraz (19) and Ruud (23) are the second-youngest Top 2 in Pepperstone ATP Rankings history, just behind 1975’s Jimmy Connors (22) and Bjorn Borg (18) as World No. 1 and 22 and respectively. There are two new World No. 1s in the same season for the first time since 2003. (Medvedev and Alcaraz).