19-year-old Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz scripted history on Sunday, September 11, when he defeated Norwegian star Casper Ruud to become the US Open 2022 champion. The victory also helped him to become the youngest player to become World no. 1 as well as the youngest player to win a Grand Slam title since Rafael Nadal in 2005.
Alcaraz is also the fourth Spanish player to become World no.1, behind his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Moya and Rafael Nadal. Let’s take a look at the youngest players who have gone on to become World no. 1 since the ATP rankings began on August 23, 1973.
Also Read: Watch: Carlos Alcaraz’s winning moment in US Open 2022 final
5. Andy Roddick (21 years, two months)
Considered one of the greatest players in tennis, Andy Roddick became World no. 1 on November 3, 2003, at an age of 21 years and two months. He climbed to the top of the ATP rankings when he beat Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden 7-5, 7-6 in the quarterfinal of the Paris Masters. Juan Carlos Ferrero, who would later go on to become Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, was defeated at the round of 16 of the same tournament three days ago and Roddick’s subsequent win made him the new World no. 1.
4. John McEnroe (21 years, one month)
Former American star tennis player, John McEnroe, became the World no. 1 in ATP rankings when he was only 21 years and one month old on March 3, 1980. He would later go on to be the World no. 1 player on 14 different occasions between 1980 and 1985. He also finished four consecutive years as the No. 1 ranked player between 1981 and 1984.
Also Read: How Carlos Alcaraz beat Casper Ruud to become US Open champion, World no. 1
3. Marat Safin (20 years,10 months)
Former Russian tennis star Marat Safin became the World no. 1 tennis player on November 20, 2000, when he was only 20 years and 10 months old. The Russian star held his rank for a consecutive nine weeks between November 2000 and April 2001.
He was later inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He defeated Pete Sampras in straight sets in the US Open final in the 2000 edition, which helped him to climb to the top rank.
2. Lleyton Hewitt (20 years, nine months)
Australian tennis great Lleyton Hewitt was the youngest player to become World no. 1 before Spanish starlet Carlos Alcaraz broke his record. Hewitt became World no.1 at the age of 20 years and nine months on November 19, 2001.
Hewitt held the top rank for a total of 80 weeks between November 2001 and April 2003. He won six titles, including the US Open and Tennis Master Cup in Sydney that year.
Also Read: Carlos Alcaraz, 19, is new US Open champion, youngest World no 1
1. Carlos Alcaraz (19 years, four months)
Spanish teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz defeated Casper Ruud of Norway in the final of the US Open 2022 on September 11, 2022, and became the youngest World no. 1 in the history of the sport. He arrived at the US Open as the world no. 4 and a victory over no. 7 Ruud helped him become the ATP no.1.
Alcaraz also became the youngest player since Rafael Nadal in 2005 to win a Grand Slam title. He also became the youngest player to win the US Open since Pete Sampras in 1990.