Alcaraz Wraps His Season: The Best, Biggest, Coolest & Craziest Of 2022
It was a historic season for Carlos Alcaraz, whose accomplishments in 2022 include winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title, his maiden Grand Slam championship and climbing to World No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
To wrap his year, ATPTour.com asked the Spaniard for the best, biggest, coolest and craziest things to happen to him this season.
Carlos’ Biggest Thing: Ending The Year As World No. 1
Alcaraz at the Nitto ATP Finals was recognised as the youngest year-end No. 1 in the history of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings (since 1973). The 19-year-old became the first teen to accomplish the feat.
“It means a lot to me,” Alcaraz said. “To get this trophy, the World No. 1, to be part of tennis history along with a lot of legends, for me is an amazing feeling.”
Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Carlos’ Best Thing: Winning The US Open & Reaching World No. 1
Fans and analysts alike had Alcaraz on their radar well before the start of the 2022 season, but few could have predicted how quickly he soared. By defeating Casper Ruud in the US Open final, he claimed his maiden major crown and with it, the No. 1 Pepperstone ATP Ranking.
“It's crazy for me. I've never thought that I was going to achieve something like that at 19 years old. So everything [has] come so fast,” Alcaraz said. “For me it's unbelievable. It's something I dreamed since I was a kid, since I started playing tennis. Of course, lifting this trophy today is amazing for me.”
Photo Credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Carlos’ Coolest Thing: Winning The Mutua Madrid Open In Front Of Family & Friends
Alcaraz claimed five of his six tour-level titles this season. The one that hit closest to home — literally — was his victory at the Mutua Madrid Open. The Spaniard defeated three of the top four players in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings — Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev — en route to the trophy in front of his family and friends.
“I am a very familial kid. I have been a kid that whenever I can, I'd rather be at home than somewhere else,” Alcaraz said after his win. “For me to celebrate this title, which is very special, with my family, with my cousins, uncles, grandparents, all my family in general, it's very, very special.”
Carlos’ Craziest Thing: A Coach’s Surprise
When Alcaraz advanced to the Miami Open presented by Itau final, it was a special moment. In 2021 on his Miami debut, the Spaniard lost in the first round. One year later he was into his first ATP Masters 1000 championship match.
The only missing piece was his coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, who was home mourning the loss of his father. Throughout the tournament, Alcaraz paid homage to Ferrero and his family. The teen was pushing through for him.
“After this happened, it was tough for me, it was tough for him,” Ferrero said of not being in Miami. “And even like this he could stay at the same level and trying… to stay even more focussed.”
Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
The night before the final, Alcaraz received a shock when he turned around in the hotel lobby to see his coach standing there. The pair shared an emotional embrace, just as they did the following day after Alcaraz clinched the title.
“Juan Carlos [is a] very important person for me. On [the] professional side, on the personal side, he helps me a lot on both sides,” Alcaraz said after his victory. “When we are together, we will talk about everything in life, everything in our sport, about football, as well. I mean Juan Carlos, I consider him a coach and a friend as well. So I can talk to him about everything.”