When Rafael Nadal was eliminated from semi-final contention at the Nitto ATP Finals on Tuesday evening, history was made. Nineteen-year-old Carlos Alcaraz will become the youngest year-end ATP No. 1 presented by Pepperstone in history (since 1973), making him the first teen to accomplish the feat.
The Spaniard has enjoyed an unforgettable rise in 2022, ascending from World No. 32 at the start of the year to the top of the men’s tennis mountain on 12 September. That is the biggest jump to No. 1 in 50 editions of the year-end Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
Before this year, the youngest year-end ATP No. 1 was Lleyton Hewitt, who was aged 20 years, 275 days when he did it in 2001. Alcaraz will be 19 years, 214 days on 5 December, the 2022 year-end ranking date following the last ATP Challenger Tour events of the season.
Alcaraz is the 18th year-end ATP No. 1 presented by Pepperstone in history 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. The 19-year-old joins Nadal (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019) as Spanish year-end No. 1s.
The 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion made an early splash this year when he became the youngest ATP 500 champion in series history (since 2009) at the Rio Open presented by Claro. The Spaniard 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. In Madrid, he eliminated Nadal, Djokovic and then-World No. 3 Alexander Zverev in consecutive matches to lift the trophy.
Alcaraz's biggest title run was at the US Open, where he became the youngest men’s singles winner at the American major since 19-year-old Pete Sampras in 1990. He is the youngest Grand Slam champion in men's singles since 19-year-old Nadal at Roland Garros in 2005.
The teen completed his year with a 57-13 record, including nine wins from 14 matches against Top 10 opponents.