Carlos Alcaraz stunned the tennis world after winning the Miami Open at the age of just 18, but the teen admitted his most nerve-racking moment came after the tournament.
The 18-year-old Spaniard - who was not even in the Top 100 of the world rankings this time a year ago - became the third youngest winner of a Masters 1000 when he defeated Ruud 7-5, 6-4 in the final.
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Alcaraz overtook Novak Djokovic as the tournament's previous youngest winner as ventured into the stands to celebrate with his coach and family in a beautiful moment.
While many would expect Alcaraz to have felt the weight of expectation in the final, the young Spaniard admitted the most nerve-racking moment came in the locker room.
Alcaraz admitted he was stunned to receive a call from King Felipe VI, the King of Spain, to congratulate the 18-year-old on his remarkable success.
"I wasn't expecting that," Alcaraz told reporters.
Carlos Alcaraz received a call from Felipe VI, que King of Spain.
"I wasn't expecting that. I was more nervous when talking to him than during the match. I would never thought that a thing like that would happen in my life".
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) April 3, 2022
"I was more nervous when talking to him than during the match.
"I would never thought that a thing like that would happen in my life".
Teen Carlos Alcaraz stuns tennis world
Only two men have won ATP titles at a younger age than the Spaniard's with Michael Chang claiming the 1990 Toronto tile when he was 18 years and five months old and Rafael Nadal winning the 2005 Monte Carlo crown at 18 years and 10 months.
Alcaraz bounced back from a slow start to claim the first set, having been 4-1 down, then broke Ruud twice early in the second en route to sealing victory.
The Spaniard - who is set to move up to 11th in the ATP rankings - said in his on-court interview: “I have no words to describe how I feel right now, but it is so special to win my first Masters 1000 here in Miami.
“I’m so happy with the win and for sure with my team.
“I knew Casper is playing very well, he has a big forehand. I tried to play to his backhand first and tried to go to attack, to not let him dominate the match.”
The win drew praise from tennis icon Rafa Nadal.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) April 3, 2022
Carlos Alcaraz is…
- the youngest ATP Miami winner in history
- the third youngest ATP Masters 1000 winner since 1990 (after Chang & Nadal)
- the first Spanish man to win Miami
- the new World No.11
- 18-2 this year
- coming for all of the titles
- just unbelievably good
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) April 3, 2022
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