MADRID – When Carlos Alcaraz played in his first Madrid Open as an 18-year-old, his goal was to gain experience and learn from the top players.
Only a year later, Alcaraz already feels that he is one of the best.
The Spanish teenage sensation ended another impressive week with a straight-set victory over Alexander Zverev on Sunday to win the Madrid Open and become the second youngest player to win two Masters 1000 titles.
His comfortable 6-3, 6-1 victory over Zverev followed victories over his idol Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals and topped Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
“Last year, I went through these experiences for the first time, played against the best players, played in the Masters 1000, and I learned a lot,” Alcaraz said. “Now it’s different. I enter the field knowing I can win, confident I can win at any time.”
Alcaraz became the youngest winner in Madrid and the second youngest to win two Masters 1000 trophies after Nadal won in Monte Carlo and Rome in 2005. Alcaraz had already become the youngest to enter the top 10 since Nadal did so in 2005.
“It feels great to be able to beat these players,” said Alcaraz, 19. “To beat two of the best players in history and then Zverev, world No. 3. He is a great player. I would say that this is the best week of my life. “
It was the seventh win in a row over a top-10 player for Alcaraz and his tour-leading fourth title this year. He also has the most wins this season with 28, one more than Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Zverev tried to win his second Madrid title in a row and the third overall. He only had praise for Alcaraz after the match.
“Right now you’re the best player in the world,” Zverev said before the trophy ceremony, joking with his opponent’s age. “Even though you’re still 5 years old, you beat us all, so nice to see for tennis that we have such a new superstar who’s going to win a lot of Grand Slams, who’s going to be No. 1 and going to win this tournament a lot times. “
Alcaraz had won its first Masters 1000 tournament in Miami earlier this year. He had also won in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona. His first career title came in Umag last year.
Alcaraz ‘three losses this season came against Sebastian Korda in Monte Carlo, Nadal in Indian Wells and Matteo Berrettini in the Australian Open.
After long victories in three sets over Nadal and Djokovic, the seventh-seeded Alcaraz retained his high energy from the start against Zverev and was in control throughout the match at the “Caja Mágica” center field.
He faced no breakpoint and converted four of the eight he had against the second-seeded Zverev. Alcaraz had 11 unforced errors compared to 25 by Zverev.
“I’m 19 years old, which I think is the key to being able to play long and hard matches in a row. I’m feeling good physically,” Alcaraz said.
He said it was special to win in Madrid, where he first started watching tennis at an early age.
“Seeing Rafa lift this trophy gave me a lot of strength to work hard for this moment,” Alcaraz said. “It’s a big moment for me. It’s the first tournament I saw, so it’s so emotional to lift the trophy today.”