Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz will end 2022 as World No 1 after fellow countryman Rafael Nadal was eliminated from the ATP Finals event in Turin. In doing so, the Spanish teenager becomes the youngest ever ‘year ending’ No 1 ATP player at only 19 years and seven months.
Alcaraz has had a meteoric rise to the top of the world rankings this season after he started the year with a string of impressive victories. His year culminated with his triumph at the US Open in September where he claimed his maiden Grand Slam title. In recent weeks he has struggled with injury which forced him to pull out of the ATP Finals event and Spain’s Davis Cup tie at the end of the year.
Nadal had the opportunity to regain the top spot he has not occupied since February 2020 but needed to the season finale. The record 22-time Grand Slam champion enjoyed a successful start to 2022, winning the Australian Open & French Open. However, he had to withdraw from the Wimbledon semi final with an abductor injury. He has since struggled to regain fitness and only made limited appearances on court, which included a disappointing display at the US Open in September.
It is perhaps not surprising that he struggled to overcome the world’s best players at the end of season tournament but he will still be disappointed not to have advanced past his group after he was seeded as the No 1 seed for the event.
The ATP Finals event culminates on Sunday when the winner will be crowned. Wimbledon Champion Novak Djokovic is aiming to equal Roger Federer’s incredible record of six titles.