Carlos AlcarazSpanish Tennis Player
Carlos Alcaraz is a Spanish tennis player. He won his first ATP title in July 2021 at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag.
• Date of birth: 5 May 2003
• Age: 19 years old
• Place of birth: El Palmar, Murcia, Spain
• Residence: El Palmar, Murcia, Spain
• Nationality: Spanish
• Height: 185cm / 6ft 1ins
• Weight: 72kg / 159lbs
• Plays: Right-handed
• Turned Pro: 2018
• Career Prize Money: US$ 5,452,072
The 19-year-old was born in El Palmar, Spain. After a promising career as a junior player, Alcaraz turned professional in 2018.
He enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2021, winning his first ATP Tour title and breaking into the world’s top 100 in the rankings for the first time.
Alcaraz then moved into the top 50 in the world following his run to the quarter-finals of the 2021 US Open in New York.
The Spaniard then started 2022 in equally impressive fashion, winning his first ATP 500 title at the Rio Open in February.
He then followed up that up with a stunning triumph at the ATP 1000 Miami Open event, beating Casper Ruud in the final to secure a win which moved him into the world’s top 15.
So, what do we know about Alcaraz’s journey to becoming the talented tennis player he is today? This is his story.
Early Life, Parents And Upbringing
Carlos Alcaraz (Full name: Carlos Alcaraz Garfia) was born on 5 May 2003 in El Palmar, Murcia, Spain.
His father is also named Carlos, and his mother is called Virginia. He is one of four siblings – along with Alvaro, Sergio, and Jaime.
Alcaraz started playing tennis when he was four years old, partly influenced by his father, who was also a tennis player and was ranked in Spain’s top 40.
Carlos was also inspired by his compatriot Rafael Nadal, and shares the same fondness for clay courts.
When he was 12 years old, Alcaraz began to be represented by agent Albert Molina.
“I started watching Carlitos when he was 11 years old,” Molina, the former representative of David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro, said in an interview in 2021.
“He left a very good impression on me. I remember him as a skinny kid who did a lot of things well. I was following him a lot and I tried to convince his parents to work with me. I knew I could help them with everything they needed in the development and progress of their son.
“At 12 years of age, after eight months watching him, his father decided it was a good idea, although he still thought maybe it was premature to have an agent at such a young age.”
Breakthrough In 2021
After turning professional in 2018, Alcaraz made his debut on the ATP Tour in February 2020 at the Rio Open.
He then qualified for the main draw of the 2021 Australian Open, winning on his grand slam debut against Botic van de Zandschulp before losing in the second round to Mikael Ymer.
“I’m very happy to win today in my first Grand Slam,” Alcaraz said after his first-round win in Melbourne. “I tried to enjoy, to play my game. I think I did it. I enjoyed [the match]. I got the experience. I’m excited to play my second round.”
His victory against Van de Zandschulp at the 2021 Australian Open made him the youngest man to win a grand slam match since Thanasi Kokkinakis at the 2014 Australian Open.
He continued to make progress and at the 2021 French Open, reached the third round, where he lost to Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.
Alcaraz won his first ATP title in July 2021 at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag, beating Richard Gasquet in straight sets in the final to become the youngest tour-level champion since 2008.
”It’s amazing. I have a lot of emotions. I’m really, really happy with this victory, this win, my first ATP [title],” Alcaraz said after the victory. “I’m going to enjoy this moment a lot.
“I had a lot of good moments in this tournament. I beat five great tennis players. I think that I grew up a lot in this tournament and I keep a lot of experience from this tournament. It’s going to be useful for the future.”
The win in Umag meant that Alcaraz had become the youngest Spaniard to win an ATP Tour title since fellow countryman Rafael Nadal claimed his first trophy in Sopot in 2004.
At the 2021 US Open, Alcaraz made even more progress, reaching the quarter-finals of the tournament at Flushing Meadows and setting yet more records.
In reaching the last eight in New York, Alcaraz became the youngest US Open men’s quarter-finalist in the Open Era, and the youngest grand slam men’s singles quarter-finalist since 1990. He eventually lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime after he had to retire from the match with an injury.
Speaking at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan in November 2021, Alcaraz declared his goal of becoming the number one player in the world.
“My dream is to be the world number one and I will work hard for it,” said Alcaraz. “Whether or not I win this tournament, I am still focused on my goal, which is to be number one in the world.”
More Progress In 2022
Alcaraz began the 2022 season in impressive fashion, advancing to the third round of the Australian Open before losing to Matteo Berrettini of Italy in five sets.
He then continued to make good progress, and won his first career ATP 500 title at the Rio Open in Brazil in February 2022, beating third seed Diego Schwartzman 6-4 6-2 in the final. The win made him the youngest ATP 500 champion since the category was created in 2009.
“I can’t believe it, honestly,” Alcaraz said on court after the match. “It has been a great week for me playing a great level. First tournament on clay since a long time, so I’m really happy with the performance during the whole week. It’s an amazing feeling right now.”
Alcaraz then followed up his triumph in Rio with a remarkable run at the ATP 1000 Miami Open event, with the Spaniard claiming the title with a straight-sets win over Casper Ruud of Norway in the final.
The win made him the youngest Miami men’s champion in the event’s history, and the third-youngest ATP Masters 1000 champion overall. He was also the first Spaniard to win the event, and the win propelled him up to number 11 in the world rankings.
“I have no words to describe how I feel right now,” Alcaraz said after the match. “It’s so special to win my first Masters 1000 here in Miami. I have an unbelievable team with me and family… I’m so happy with the win and my team.”
Alcaraz continued his fine form onto the clay courts, and he won his third title of the season with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over eighth seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the final of the Barcelona Open in April 2022.
“It means a lot. I’ve watched this tournament since I was a kid. I always wished to play in this tournament and of course to be able to win this tournament,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview after the final in Barcelona. “I’m really, really happy to be part of the [historic] Spanish list.”
Alcaraz then continued his remarkable form by winning the Madrid Open title by beating Alexander Zverev in straight sets to claim his fourth title of the year.
Prize Money And Earnings
As of May 2022, Alcaraz had earned a total of US $5,452,072 in career prize money.
He pocketed a winner’s cheque worth US$ 1,231,245 with his triumph at the Miami Open in April 2022.
Life Away From The Court
According to tennismajors.com, Alcaraz enjoys golf and football, and is a Real Madrid fan.
What Have Others Said?
Rafael Nadal, speaking in January 2022 about Alcaraz’s potential: “When you have all that potential and you’re also a hard worker, it’s hard for things to go badly for you. You would expect his chances of fighting for the biggest titles to increase as each tournament goes by.”
Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, speaking in 2022: “His dynamism on court is his biggest asset. He is capable of doing what is asked of him and that’s very difficult to get from a player: serve-volley, play high or fast balls, he can do it all. That courage and ability to finish off a point is something I would have liked to have had in my career.”
Alexander Zverev, talking after losing to Alcaraz in the Madrid Open Final in 2022: “Right now you are the best player in the world. It is great for tennis that we have such a new superstar that is going to win so many Grand Slams, that is going to be World No 1 and I think is going to win this tournament many more times.”
Novak Djokovic, speaking about Alcaraz in May 2022: “He definitely is special. Already he’s breaking a lot of records as a teenager, winning two Masters events this year, a couple of 500s. So far he’s the best player in the world, no question, this year with the results that he’s been doing.”