Carlos Alcaraz has reclaimed the World No. 1 ranking…
The 20-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Alex De Minaur 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to then the Queen’s Club Championships final for his first ATP title on grass.
Despite struggling at times in the first set, Alcaraz beat De Minaur for his fifth title of the year and 11th overall.
In the process, Alcaraz moved above Novak Djokovic in the rankings and confirmed the US Open champion as a serious challenger to the Serbian player’s crown at Wimbledon. Alcaraz lost in the fourth round to Jannik Sinner last year.
“The chances don’t change so much. I mean, Novak is coming to Wimbledon,” Alcaraz said. “Right now, I’m feeling better than the beginning of the week, that’s obvious.
“Of course, recovering the No. 1 before Wimbledon, it gives you extra motivation, it gives you extra confidence coming into Wimbledon. But it doesn’t change too much if I play Wimbledon as the No. 2 or the No. 1.”
Alcaraz will enter Wimbledon as the second-youngest man to be seeded No. 1 since the Open era began in 1968, after Boris Becker, who was 19, in 1987, according to ESPN Stats & Information data.
Sunday’s final was Alcaraz’s first on grass, in only the third tournament of his young career on the surface.
He had to save two break points in the eighth game of the first set, broke in the next game and then served out for the set.
Alcaraz won the only break point of the second set, when the 24-year-old Spanish/Uruguayan Australian tennis player double faulted, and sealed the title on his first match point when the Australian sent a return long.
“It means a lot to have my name on the trophy,” Alcaraz said. “It was special to play here where so many legends have won. To see my name surrounded by the great champions is amazing.”
Alcaraz has won titles on hard, clay and grass this season, making him the youngest man to win tour-level titles on hard, clay and grass in the same year since Mats Wilander, who was 19, in 1983, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.