Alcaraz to become youngest year-end ATP No. 1

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Carlos Alcaraz of Spain kisses the trophy during the awarding ceremony after the men's singles final between Carlos Alcaraz of Spain and Casper Ruud of Norway at the 2022 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, the United States, on Sept. 11, 2022. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

Nineteen-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz is set to become the youngest year-end ATP No. 1 since the ranking system was introduced in 1973.

History was made for Alcaraz on Tuesday after his compatriot Rafael Nadal was eliminated from the semifinal contention at the ATP Finals.

Alcaraz had a memorable 2022 season, rising from 32nd in the world rankings at the start of the year to No. 1 on September 12, the fastest rise to the top in the last 50 years.

The previous youngest year-end ATP No. 1 was Lleyton Hewitt, who made it in 2001 at 20 years and 275 days, while Alcaraz will be 19 years and 214 days on December 5, the 2022 year-end ranking date.

Alcaraz is the 18th player in ATP history to reach the year-end No. 1 ranking, and the first outside the Big Four of Novak Djokovic (7), Roger Federer (5), Nadal (5) and Andy Murray (1) since Andy Roddick in 2003.

After winning the Next Gen ATP Finals last year, Alcaraz quickly made his mark this year. He became the youngest ATP 500 champion since 2009 at the Rio Open, and followed that victory with his maiden ATP Masters 1000 triumph in Miami. Alcaraz led the Tour with two Masters 1000 crowns (Miami and Madrid) and five titles overall in 2022.

His biggest success of the year was at the US Open, where he became the youngest men's singles winner since 19-year-old Pete Sampras in 1990, and the youngest Grand Slam men's singles champion since 19-year-old Nadal at Roland Garros in 2005.

Alcaraz, who had suffered an abdominal tear at the Paris Masters, completed his year with a 57-13 record, including nine wins against Top 10 opponents.

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