Carlos Alcaraz at the 2022 Mutua Madrid Open – Day 10
The 2022 Madrid Masters is approaching its business end. Young Carlos Alcaraz continued his stunning form this week, following up his win over Rafael Nadal by beating top seed Novak Djokovic in a third-set tie-break to reach the final.
The 19-year-old will square off against Alexander Zverev in the title match at the Caja Magica on Sunday.
The Djokovic win made Alcaraz one of the youngest finalists in the history of the Madrid Masters. On that note, here’s a look at the five youngest players to reach the title round in the Spanish capital:
#5 Andy Murray (2008) – 21 years, 5 months
Andy Murray won the 2008 Madrid Masters title
Andy Murray had a breakout campaign in 2008. After winning his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati, the Scot repeated the trick on the indoor hardcourts of Madrid a few weeks later.
The then World No. 4 sailed into the semifinals without dropping a set before conceding one to Roger Federer in the last four. However, he recovered to beat the then World No. 2 7-5 in the third to romp into the final to become one of the youngest finalists in Madrid Masters’ history.
In the title match, the Scot beat Gilles Simon in straight sets to win his fourth title of the year and second Masters 1000 title.
#4 Alexander Zverev (2018) – 21 years, 1 month
Alexander Zverev (right) won his first Masters Masters title in 2018
Alexander Zverev enjoyed a memorable week in the Spanish capital in 2018. The young German reeled off five consecutive straight-set wins to win the third Masters 1000 title of his fledgling career.
A year after he made his Masters 1000 breakthrough in Rome and winning another at the Coupe Rogers, Zverev was on a roll at the Caja Magica. The then 21-year-old did not drop a set through his first four matches to book a final against his good friend Dominic Thiem.
However, the two-time Roland Garros runner-up was no match for Zverev, who dropped only eight games to win his second title of the year.
A few weeks later, he would win the biggest title of his career by beating Novak Djokovic in the final of the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 in London.
#3 Stefanos Tsitsipas (2019) – 20 years, 9 months
Stefanos Tsitsipas (left) fell short in the 2019 Madrid Masters final
Stefanos Tsitsipas was in the midst of a banner campaign in 2019. After winning the first title of his career in Stockholm a year earlier, the young Greek tripled that tally coming into the European claycourt swing.
Tsitsipas followed up his triumph in Marseille with his first claycourt title in Estoril. Buoyed by that run in the Portuguese city, Tsitsipas moved into the Madrid quarterfinals without dropping a set.
After beating Zverev in three sets in the last eight, the then 20-year-old notched up his first win over ‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal in a three-set semifinal.
However, his golden run was ended by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who romped to his third title at the Caja Magica by dropping only seven games in the title match.
Tsitsipas would go on to win the biggest title of his career at the ATP World Tour Finals later that year.
#2 Rafael Nadal (2005) – 19 years, 5 months
Rafael Nadal is one of the youngest winners of the Madrid Masters
Rafael Nadal produced the greatest campaign by a teenager in ATP history in 2005. He arrived in Madrid after winning a staggering 10 titles, including his maiden Major at Roland Garros and Masters 1000 titles in Monte Carlo, Rome and Canada.
The then 19-year-old blazed through the first four rounds without dropping a set to romp into the final on the Madrid hardcourts. In the process, he became the youngest finalist in the competition’s history as he reached his 12th title match of the season.
Nadal made a slow start in the final against Ivan Ljubicic, though, losing the first two sets. However, he recovered to triumph in a fifth-set tie-break to close out a memorable 79-10 season.
Five years later, after the tournament had shifted to clay, Nadal joined Federer as the only player to win Madrid titles on both hardcourt and clay.
#1 Carlos Alcaraz (2022) – 19 years, 0 months
Carlos Alcaraz has been on fire at the Madrid Masters
Carlos Alcaraz has had a blazing start to his 2022 campaign. He won his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami in between two ATP 500 tournaments (Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona).
Continuing his terrific start to the season in Madrid, Alcaraz created history by becoming the first player to beat Nadal and Djokovic in the same claycourt tournament.
In the process, he broke his compatriot Nadal’s record of being the youngest finalist in Madrid Masters history.
Alcaraz will now look to create more history on Sunday by becoming the youngest player to win the Madrid Masters.