Alcaraz completes a perfect week in Madrid

Antonio Arenas Men's Tennis, Mutua News, Tennis

Carlos Alcaraz‘s potential is limitless. The Spaniard has delighted his home fans by winning the Mutua Madrid Open, beating defending champion Alexander Zverev in two sets (6-3, 6-1) after 61 minutes. The No. 6 in the ATP Ranking as of Monday, has joined his compatriots Juan Carlos Ferrero and Rafael Nadal in the event’s winners’ circle.

In addition, at 19 years and three days of age, the Murcia native is the youngest champion in twenty editions of the Madrid tournament. With his crown in the Caja Mágica, Alcaraz now has two Masters 1000 titles to his name in 2022 after his win in Miami last month. He has three titles on clay this season after his ATP 500 wins in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona and he has a perfect record in ATP finals with six victories in siz matches.

The added merit in the seventh seed’s achievement is that he defeated Nadal (3) in the quarters, Djokovic (1) in the semis and Zverev (2) in the final. Against the world No. 3, Alcaraz recorded the fastest win in an #MMOPEN final and the one with the fewest games conceded (4 games).

In the decider in the Manolo Santana Stadium, Ferrero’s understudy came flying out of the blocks to take the first set in just 31 minutes, breaking the German in the sixth game and losing just three points while serving.

The El Palmar-born player continued to chip away at the confidence of Sergi Bruguera’s pupil with another break in the third game of the second set. Alcaraz refused to take his foot off the pedal and delighted the crowd with an impressive range of shotmaking that earned him two more breaks in the fifth and seventh games, ending any hope of a Zverev comeback.

Alcaraz is the tenth different champion in the twenty Mutua Madrid Opens played. Rafael Nadal leads the pack with five titles (2005, 2010, 2013-14 & 2017), followed by Roger Federer (2006, 2009 & 2012) and Novak Djokovic (2011, 2016 &a 2019) with three each. Zverev (2018 & 2021), with two, missed a chance to join them and remains tied with Andy Murray (2008 & 2015).

The Spaniard has added his name to those of other legends to have claimed the title at the Madrid tournament such as American player Andre Agassi (2002), his own coach Juan Carlos Ferrero (2003), Marat Safin (2004) and Argentina’s David Nalbandian (2007).

Alcaraz’s dominance on clay this season continues, increasing his record to 16 wins and one defeat, which came in his opener in Monte Carlo. This gives him a 94% win rate, the highest on tour on the surface, making him one of the favourites for the upcoming Masters 1000 in Rome and the French Open.