He may have lost the Hamburg European Open, but Carlos Alcaraz is still a winner as far as ATP ranking is concerned. At just 19 years old, the Spaniard became the youngest player to crack the top five this century, right between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Alcaraz lost to Lorenzo Musetti at the Hamburg European Open final on Sunday. If he won, his ranking would have moved to No. 4. But still, being 19 years old and already climbing to No. 5 is no small feat.
Rafael Nadal was 18 when he made it to the top 5 back in May 2005. Novak Djokovic was 19 when he did so in April 2007. This makes Alcaraz the third teenager since 2000 to achieve this feat.
Lleyton Hewitt and Alexander Zverev were both 20 years old when they cracked the top 5, in June 2001 and September 2017, respectively.
Alcaraz said, “It means a lot. The hard work that I put in every day to reaching my dreams, [No.] 1, and little by little I’m reaching my dream.”
“Top five for me is pretty amazing and I will keep going to be [No.] 1.”
The young Spaniard has made no secret of his dream of becoming No. 1 in the past. He will try to retain his ATP title at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag this week.
“Of course Umag is a special tournament for me. I got my first title there, so I’m defending the title this year.”
“But I’m going to try to play my best and of course take lessons from here,” he added.
Other big movers in the ATP rankings include Francisco Cerundolo, who moved up six places to No. 24. Musetti’s win at Hamburg has helped him catapult to No. 31.
Musetti said after winning his first ATP Tour title: “”I have no words because it was a roller-coaster until the end. I had so many match points. Carlos was so good on the match points, [I had] so many chances.”
“But I think the key of the match was to keep calm and [have] all the patience [with] myself because it was really not easy. Carlos was putting so much effort in the match points when he was down, so it was not easy to find the energy to come back.”
“But I cannot describe what I am feeling right now. I think I am still dreaming.”
Dominic Thiem rose up 75 places to No. 199 after reaching the Gstaad semis in Switzerland, which puts him back in the top 200.