Spaniard climbs one spot after reaching Hamburg final

Nineteen-year-old Carlos Alcaraz made history on Monday when he climbed to No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, becoming the second-youngest player in the 21st century to crack the top five.

The only player who has achieved the feat at a younger age since 2000 is Rafael Nadal, who did it in May 2005 as an 18-year-old. Alcaraz had an opportunity to reach World No. 4, but settled for No. 5 after falling short in the Hamburg European Open final against Lorenzo Musetti.

“It means a lot. The hard work that I put in every day for reaching my dreams, [No.] 1, and little by little I’m reaching my dream,” Alcaraz said. “Top five for me is pretty amazing and I will keep going to be [No.] 1.”

Five Youngest Players To Crack Top Five (since 2000)
Player Ranking Date Age
Rafael Nadal No. 5 9 May 2005 18y, 11m, 6d
Carlos Alcaraz No. 5 25 July 2022 19y, 2m, 20d
Novak Djokovic No. 5 30 April 2007 19y, 11m, 8d
Lleyton Hewitt No. 5 25 June 2001 20y, 4m, 1d
Alexander Zverev No. 4 11 September 2017 20y, 4m, 22d

Alcaraz began his season at World No. 32, but has quickly surged towards the top of the sport. Alcaraz, Nadal and Novak Djokovic are the only three players this millennium who have broken into the top five as teens.

Rounding out the top five on the list of youngest players to reach the top five in the 2000s are Lleyton Hewitt and Alexander Zverev. They both reached the milestone aged 20.

Alcaraz and Nadal are tied for the most ATP Tour titles this year with four each. Alcaraz has lifted his first two ATP Masters 1000 trophies (Miami and Madrid) and his first two ATP 500 crowns (Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona) in 2022.

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The 19-year-old is keen to continue his push. This week, he will attempt to retain an ATP Tour title for the first time as the top seed at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag.

“Of course Umag is a special tournament for me. I got my first title there, so I’m defending the title this year,” Alcaraz said. “But I’m going to try to play my best and of course take lessons from here.”

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