Responsible for eliminating Stefanos Tsitsipas in US Open 2021, Carlos Alcaraz, just 18 years old, gave the message that he could be the next tennis star
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Tsitsipas lost to Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, number 55 on the ATP ranking, 3 sets to 2, partial 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 0-6, 7-6 (5) in one game that lasted just over 4 hours at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Treated as the next Spanish tennis star, Alcaraz is already drawing comparisons to none other than Rafael Nadal, even if his coach doesn’t like it. “It’s a heavy burden to carry,” said the coach.
And Alcaraz’s coach knows a lot about the tennis world: Juan Carlos Ferrero. The Spaniard was world number 1, Roland Garros champion and finalist at the 2003 US Open. Ferrero had epic duels with Gustavo Kuerten, including in the semifinals of the French Grand Slam in 2000 and 2001, years of Guga’s last two titles in Paris.
Interestingly, Alcaraz’s debut in an ATP tournament was at last year’s Rio Open, when he was not even among the top 400 in the rankings, he received an invitation and beat compatriot Albert Ramos in the first round.
The victory over Tsitsipas broke some historic marks in tennis:
– Alcaraz became the youngest to reach a Grand Slam round of 16 since Andrei Medvedev (17) at Roland Garros in 1992.
– Alcaraz is the youngest in the round of 16 at the US Open since 1989 (Michael Chang aged 17 and Pete Sampras aged 18).
– Alcaraz is the youngest to win a top 3 at the US Open since the ranking was invented in 1973.
– Alcaraz is the youngest to win a top 3 in a Grand Slam since Michael Chang (17 years old) defeated Ivan Lendl (1st) and Stefan Edberg (3rd) at Roland Garros 1989.