Carlos Alcaraz – Grand Slam title as a teenager: Spaniard knocks on the door of an elite club

Carlos Alcaraz is in the third round of the French Open for the second year in a row. Normally it would be a remarkable achievement in itself for a teenager, but the expectations of the young Spaniard have changed.

After his strong clay court season with tournament victories in Barcelona and at the Masters in Madrid, Alcaraz is one of the top favorites for the title in Roland Garros.

After the shocking victory against Albert Ramos-Viñolas, Alcaraz admitted that these increased expectations did not leave him unharmed. “It’s great when people talk about you and think I’m going to be the new number one. But it obviously puts a little bit of pressure on me,” Alcaraz said.

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Should he carry out the big coup in Paris, the 19-year-old would join a very elite circle. Overall, there have only been seven players in men’s tennis who became Grand Slam winners as teenagers. The last was Alcaraz ‘great idol Rafael Nadal. The Mallorcan won at Roland Garros in 2005 as a 19-year-old.

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Eurosport.de presents the famous circle:

Teenagers who became Grand Slam winners: Borg, Becker and Co.

Bjørn Borg: In 1974, the legendary Swede wins with the characteristic headband French Open. Borg just turned 18 when he defeated Spaniard Manuel Orantes 2-6, 6-7, 6-0, 6-1, 6-1. In total, Ice Borg won 11 major tournaments, the French Open six times and Wimbledon five times in a row from 1976 to 1980, before retiring for the first time at the age of 26. “It’s hard when you are number one. You have not a private life, “Borg said at the time.

Mats Wilander: At the age of 17, the Swede defeated Argentine Guillermo Vilas in a marathon final at the 1982 French Open as an unseeded player. After 4:42 hours of play, Wilander won 1: 6, 7: 6, 6: 0, 6: 4. Today’s TV expert, who also stands for a special sports spirit in his career, takes the leap to number one and ends his career with seven Grand Slam titles.

Boris Becker: In 1985, a 17-year-old from Leimen took the tennis world by storm. Becker wrote history as an unseed with the 6: 3, 6: 7, 7: 6, 6: 4 victory in the Wimbledon final against Kevin Curren, he is still the youngest men’s champion in the tournament. Becker has won six majors and a total of 49 titles in his career. At the French Open, the semifinals were in 1987, 1989 and 1991.

Stephen Edberg: Another Swede. The elegant serve-and-volley player Edberg creates his first masterpiece in Melbourne at the age of 19. At the Australian Open, he scored his first tournament victory with 6: 4, 6: 3, 6: 3 against Wilander after beating Ivan Lendl out in a hard-fought semifinal. Edberg wins a total of six majors, only in Paris he has no success.

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Rafael Nadal was the last Grand Slam winner in under 20 years

Michael Chang: At 17 years and three months old, the American is the youngest Grand Slam winner in history. In 1989, he delighted sports fans around the world with his 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Edberg at the French Open. Before that, Chang took world number one Lendl out of the tournament in a legendary round of 16. Chang reached the final in Melbourne and New York in 1996, but Paris remains his only triumph in a Grand Slam tournament.

Pete Sampras: “Pistol Pete” won the first of its 14 Grand Slam titles in New York in 1990 at the age of 19. Sampras defeated his American compatriot Andre Agassi 6: 4, 6: 3, 6: 2. Four more titles at the US Open, seven at Wimbledon and two at the US Open follow. Sampras does not complete the career slam, in Paris he never gets further than a semi-final in 1996.

Rafael Nadal: The Clay Court king entered the big stage as a 19-year-old and defeated Mariano Puerta 6: 7, 6: 3, 6: 1, 7: 5 in the final of the French Open in 2005. Today, Nadal has 13 titles in Paris and a total of 21 majors – making him the Grand Slam record champion ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (both 20 major titles). To date, he is the last teenager to have won a Slam title.

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