Alcaraz confirmed as youngest year-end No 1 as Ruud robs Nadal of chance to earn top spot
Alcaraz’s biggest victory was at the recent US Open, where he became the youngest men’s singles winner since 19-year-old Pete Sampras in 1990.
Rafael Nadal’s hopes of winning the ATP finals trophy came crashing down following his second successive loss in the tournament. Felix Auger-Aliassime beat the struggling Spaniard 6-3, 6-4 in round-robin action. By crashing out of ATP finals, Nadal also lost the chance to dethrone teenager Carlos Alcaraz as World No. 1. Nadal has never won the ATP Finals title in 10 attempts. He finished as runners-up in 2010 as well as 2013.
Nadal suffers elimination from ATP Finals
Rafael Nadal needed to win the tournament to win his maiden title and finish as the top men’s tennis player for the 2022 season. Nadal started the tournament with straight-set losses to Taylor Fritz on Sunday followed by loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime earlier on Tuesday. He needed Ruud to lose in straight sets to keep his hopes alive. However, Ruud won his match 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6) and advanced to the tournament’s semi-finals for the second year in a row.
The 36-year-old Nadal has now lost four straight matches for only the second time in his career, following defeats at the US Open and in Paris. The defeat against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the 2022 ATP Finals meant Nadal lost his seventh match of he season.
The season also saw him win 38 matches and four titles overall, including the Australian Open and the French Open. He withdrew from the Wimbledon championships due to injury and made a quarter-final exit at the US Open 2022.
Young Alcaraz reigns supreme with Nadal now out of the way
Spain’s 19-year-old tennis sensation Carlos Alcaraz will become the youngest player to hold the No. 1 ranking following Nadal’s exit from ATP finals. Alcaraz beat the record held by Australian great Lleyton Hewitt who was the previous youngest player to end the year as the No 1 player back in 2001.
Alcaraz’s biggest victory was at the recent US Open, where he became the youngest men’s singles winner since 19-year-old Pete Sampras in 1990. He is the youngest Grand Slam champion in men’s singles since 19-year-old Nadal at Roland Garros in 2005.
Alcaraz completed his year with a 57-13 record, including nine wins from 14 matches against Top 10 opponents. The new world no 1 is also the youngest player to win the Rio Open (18 years and 10 months), the Miami Open (18 years and 11 months) and the Madrid Open (19 years).