Although Carlos Alcaraz was pulled from the ATP Finals, he still made history after Rafael Nadal dropped two straight matches in Turin, Italy. With two losses, Nadal’s chance of holding on to year-end No.1 was on the backs of Taylor Fitz to beat Casper Ruud.
Ruud sealed the match to reach the semi-finals of the tournament and eliminated Nadal from the ATP Finals, guaranteeing Carlos Alcaraz the year-end No.1 spot.
At just 19 years old and 214 days, Alcaraz will become the youngest player to become the year-end No.1 since 1973.
Rafael Nadal Eliminated From ATP Finals
Since Casper Ruud beat Taylor Fitz on Tuesday in their round-robin match, Rafael Nadal was officially eliminated from the ATP Finals.
Nadal dropped both his matches for a 0-2 start at the ATP Finals. For Nadal to hold on to the No.1 rankings, he needed to win the tournament but his loss instead sealed Alcaraz’s fate as the year-end No.1 player in the world.
Nadal still had hope despite losing his matches.
In Turin, Nadal needed Ruud to lose in straight sets to keep his hopes alive after dropping his first two. Instead, it is Alcaraz who will become the youngest No.1 player in ATP history.
Nadal has been struggling on the court lately. His appearance at the US Open was disappointing, and at the ATP Finals, he looked rusty.
For the first time since 2009, Nadal has dropped four successive ATP Tour matches.
Carlos Alcaraz Becomes Youngest Player to Be Ranked No.1 in ATP History
Despite sitting out of the ATP Finals due to injury, Alcaraz quietly became the youngest player to finish the year as the No.1 ranked player in the world.
Alcaraz will also be the first player besides Roger Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray to achieve this feat since 2004.
The tennis star has had an excellent season winning five titles this year including two Masters 1000 titles and the US Open.
With his US Open win, Alcaraz became the second teenager to win the US Open in the Open Era.
In just his second attempt, Alcaraz won the US Open title with the fewest number of attempts.
After an unbelievable season, it was only fitting for the 19-year-old to make ATP history as the year-end No.1 player.