ATP

Alcaraz savours first 100 wins as Spanish star sets up Indian Wells clash with Draper

By Sports Desk March 14, 2023

Carlos Alcaraz felt "really proud" to complete 100 wins at ATP Tour level while still a teenager as the world number two marched on at the Indian Wells Open.

Only John McEnroe has reached a century of victories in fewer matches, the ATP said, with the American getting there from 131 contests while it took Alcaraz 132 to get to that landmark.

Alcaraz made it 10 wins from 11 matches in 2023 by defeating Tallon Griekspoor 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 on Monday at the California tournament.

The Spanish prodigy last year won the US Open and in doing so became the youngest men's world number one, with Novak Djokovic having since clawed back top spot.

Victory over Griekspoor made Alcaraz the third men's tour player born after 2000 to claim 100 tour wins, after Jannik Sinner and Felix Auger-Aliassime, said OptaAce.

The youngster's first tour-level win came against fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the 2020 Rio Open, with the then 16-year-old wrapping up a 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 7-6 (7-2) at 3am local time.

The latest victory was his 24th at ATP 1000 level, going past Djokovic on the all-time ranking for wins at that elite tier by players before turning 20.

Alcaraz trails Denis Shapovalov (25) and Rafael Nadal (49), in that regard, but the chances are he will soon only trail Nadal, whom he cannot catch.

With his 20th birthday coming up in May, Alcaraz can substantially add to his ATP 1000 wins before leaving behind his teenage years. He will be looking to go further at Indian Wells and then rack up more victories in Miami, Monte Carlo and Madrid.

He will turn 20 on May 5, during the Madrid tournament where he is the defending champion.

Reflecting on his time on tour so far, Alcaraz said: "A lot has happened since that first ATP win. I'm really proud of myself to have my 100th win on the tour, in like 132 matches.

"I saw I was the second player in history with less matches to be able to get to 100 wins. I'm really proud of myself about that."

Alcaraz has a win percentage of 70.6 at ATP 1000 events in his fledgling career. Only three players with 10 or more matches in ATP 1000 events as a teenager have a higher percentage of success: Andre Agassi (90.9 per cent), Rafael Nadal (84.5) and Jim Courier (72.7).

Standing in the way of Alcaraz making an immediate improvement to his record is another emerging young talent, the 21-year-old British player Jack Draper.

They will meet in round four at Indian Wells on Tuesday, with Draper having sunk the hopes of compatriot and three-time grand slam winner Andy Murray on Monday to reach that stage.

"I know he's a really good player," said Alcaraz, who won his one previous meeting with Draper, a tight three-setter in Switzerland last year.

"I mean, he's playing well. He has beaten great opponents like [Dan] Evans and Andy. I know that I'm going to have to play my best, give my 100 per cent on court. I played against him in Basle [and won] 7-5 in the third, I think. It's going to be a really tough match and I'm going to enjoy it."

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  • Krajicek hopes Alcaraz does not simply try to emulate Nadal Krajicek hopes Alcaraz does not simply try to emulate Nadal

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    "So for me, then I became a fan. I'm like, 'Wow, you really love this game'. That's so great to see."

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