Carlos Alcaraz becomes the youngest Top 5 player after Rafael Nadal, the eighth youngest ever

Carlos Alcaraz, 19, on Monday became the youngest player since Rafael Nadal to reach the top five of the world rankings. Despite losing 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 to Lorenzo Musetti in the Hamburg European Open final, the Spaniard made a huge jump in the rankings.

Alkaraj is at the eighth position on the all-time list since the rankings were calculated. At the top of the list is Michael Chang, the youngest ever male Grand Slam winner. The American won the 1989 French Open at the age of 17. Boris Becker and Mats Wilander, the only two other Under-18 Major winners, are also on the list.

Also on the list are the all-time greats like Bjorn Borg, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, while Nadal is ranked sixth. The 22-time Grand Slam champion broke into the top five at the age of 18, shortly before winning her first major at the 2005 French Open.

Youngest Top 5 Players

Source: Ultimate Tennis Statistics

Alkaraz is undoubtedly the most exciting male player of the modern era. The Spaniard became the youngest Grand Slam quarterfinalist at last year’s US Open since 1990, and the third-youngest Masters 1000 champion in Miami earlier this year.

After defeating Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev back-to-back-to-back for the Madrid Open title, Alcaraz came into the French Open as one of the favourites, an unprecedented feat for a teenager when the Majors are still Nadal and Djokovic also dominate.

He will now focus on getting into rhythm ahead of the US Open in August, to make a historic year – which saw him win four titles and eight top-10 victories – even better. With participation in doubt due to Djokovic’s non-vaccination status, and Nadal and Zverev still battling injuries, the 19-year-old will be imagining his chances in New York.