Story of the Season

Sinner, Alcaraz, De Minaur among champions of Q1

A host of top stars lifted trophies in the first months of the 2024 season
April 01, 2024 looks reflects on some of the titlists from the first quarter of the 2024 season.
ATP Tour looks reflects on some of the titlists from the first quarter of the 2024 season. By Andy West

Making a fast start can be key when it comes to putting together a successful ATP Tour season.

In 2024, a host of world-class names have hit the ground running, establishing early momentum and confidence on which they can build for the rest of the year and, perhaps most importantly, convert their impressive form into trophies.

Top 10 stars Jannik Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz and Alex de Minaur have all claimed at least one title in the first three months of the year. After an opening salvo of on-court action that has seen plenty of personal milestones broken, long trophy droughts snapped, and a wave of first-time tour-level titlists, reflects on the champions from the first quarter of 2024.

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Jannik Sinner: Australian Open, Rotterdam, Miami
After a scintillating end to 2023, Sinner has only gone on to bigger and better things in the early months of this season. The 22-year-old won his first 16 matches of the year and, even after Alcaraz snapped that streak in the Indian Wells semi-finals, Sinner bounced back immediately with the Miami title to rise to a career-high No. 2 in the PIF ATP Rankings.

The Italian kicked off his year by breaking his Grand Slam duck at the Australian Open. He ended 10-time champion Novak Djokovic's 33-match Melbourne winning streak in the semi-finals before rallying from two-sets-to-love down against Medvedev in the championship match. At 22 years and 165 days, Sinner was the youngest man to win the Australian Open since Djokovic's first triumph in 2008.

<a href=''>Jannik Sinner</a>
Jannik Sinner celebrates after winning his first major title at the Australian Open. Photo Credit: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Clearly established as the in-form man on Tour, Sinner then notched his 12th and 13th tour-level crowns — for the loss of just one set across each title run — at the ABN AMRO Open in Rotterdam and the Miami Open presented by Itau, respectively. After racking up a 22-1 record for the year so far, Sinner leads the way in the PIF ATP Live Race To Turin.

Most Tour-level Wins in 2024

Jannik Sinner
Grigor Dimitrov
Alex de Minaur
Daniil Medvedev
Casper Ruud
Alexander Zverev

Carlos Alcaraz: Indian Wells
A quarter-final run at the Australian Open and a semi-final run in Buenos Aires represented a solid if unspectacular start to the year for Alcaraz. Yet someone who has established such spectacularly high standards since he arrived on the ATP Tour was never likely to be satisfied with such results, and the Spaniard roared back into form — and the winners’ circle — in style at the BNP Paribas Open.

Alcaraz dropped just two sets en route to becoming the first man to defend his title at the ATP Masters 1000 event in California since Djokovic won three on the bounce there in 2014-16. The 20-year-old kept his focus to dismantle Alexander Zverev in a quarter-final that was bizarrely interrupted by a swarm of bees sweeping across the court, before raising his level to rally past the previously unbeaten Sinner in the last four.

A rematch of the 2023 Indian Wells final against Medvedev produced the same result — a straight-sets win for Alcaraz — as the Spaniard claimed his fifth Masters 1000 crown and his first title since his Wimbledon triumph eight months prior. Although a quarter-final exit in Miami saw him slip below Sinner to No. 3 in the PIF ATP Rankings, Alcaraz will now prepare for the European clay swing with his title-winning confidence restored.

Alex de Minaur: Acapulco
Something about the Mexican Pacific coast brings out the best in De Minaur.

The Australian triumphed for the second straight year at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC with a series of rock-solid performances in Acapulco. He beat Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud en route to the trophy at the ATP 500, before immediately setting off on a race against time to watch his girlfriend, WTA star Katie Boulter, compete in a final of her own in San Diego.

His Acapulco triumph built on an impressive January for De Minaur, who became a Top 10 player for the first time after notching back-to-back wins against Taylor Fritz, Djokovic and Zverev while representing Australia at the United Cup. Chasing a debut appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals, De Minaur heads into April in fifth place in the PIF ATP Live Race To Turin.

Ugo Humbert: Marseille, Dubai
If you make it to an ATP Tour final, Ugo Humbert is not the player you want to see standing on the other side of the net. The 25-year-old Frenchman in February improved to 6-0 in tour-level championship matches by dispatching Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Bublik in Marseille and Dubai, respectively.

Both title runs were notable in other ways for Humbert. With his coach Jeremy Chardy unavailable for his campaign at the Open 13 Provence, his girlfriend and WTA player Tessah Andrianjafitrimo acted as a replacement for the week at the ATP 250. Meanwhile his victory at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, his second at ATP 500 level, propelled him to a career-high World No. 14.

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Sebastian Baez: Rio de Janeiro, Santiago
Like Humbert, Sebastian Baez also completed an ATP 500/ATP 250 double in February. The 23-year-old lifted the biggest trophy of his career at the Rio Open presented by Claro, where he beat three fellow Argentines and home favourite Thiago Monteiro to bag his fifth ATP Tour trophy.

One week later and Baez was a six-time champion after beating home hope Alejandro Tabilo to triumph at the Movistar Chile Open. With his victory in Santiago, which made him the first player to win multiple titles during the South American clay-court swing since 2020, Baez broke the Top 20 of the PIF ATP Rankings for the first time.

Grigor Dimitrov: Brisbane
Grigor Dimitrov snapped a six-year wait for his ninth ATP Tour title in style at the Brisbane International presented by Evie, where the Bulgarian downed top seed Holger Rune in the final at the ATP 250 to lift his first trophy since the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals. Dimitrov has maintained his excellent start to the year since, improving his record for the year to 20-5 by reaching his third Masters 1000 final in Miami, and he is currently sixth in the PIF ATP Live Race To Turin.

Andrey Rublev: Hong Kong
Rublev enjoyed extended new year’s celebrations at the Bank of China Hong Kong Tennis Open, where he sealed his 15th tour-level title in the first week of the season at the ATP 250. The 26-year-old battled past #NextGenATP stars Arthur Fils and Shang Juncheng before downing Emil Ruusuvuori to become the first ATP Tour champion in Hong Kong since 2002.

Other Q1 Champions…
The tally of first-time ATP Tour title winners for 2024 already stands at five. Jiri Lehecka and Alejandro Tabilo kicked things off in early January by lifting their maiden tour-level trophies in Adelaide and Auckland, respectively. Luciano Darderi (Cordoba), Facundo Diaz Acosta (Buenos Aires) and Jordan Thompson (Los Cabos) also entered the tour-level winners’ circle for the first time.

Elsewhere, Alexander Bublik won his fourth tour-level crown in Montpellier, where he became the first player in history to win an ATP Tour event having lost the first set in each of his matches. The Kazakhstani’s fellow Top 20 stars Tommy Paul (Dallas), Taylor Fritz (Delray Beach) and Karen Khachanov (Doha) also head into April having opened their trophy account for the year.

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