MURCIA’S Carlos Alcaraz is a world number nine ranked player, following Sunday’s Barcelona Open final win against fellow-Spaniard, Pablo Carreno Busta.
He becomes the youngest Spanish player to hit the ATP top ten rankings since Rafal Nadal in 2005, when the Mallorcan superstar lifted his first Barcelona Open title, also aged 18.
On that occasion, Nadal beat Juan Carlos Ferrero who is now Alcaraz’s coach.
Speaking after Sunday’s win, Alcaraz said: “I’ve always been a normal guy. I’m not scared of fame.”
“I’m not going to change the person I am. I’m happy to know that at 18 years old I’m in the Top 10, and to do it at the same age as my idol Rafa is impressive.”
It was the third title of the season for Alcaraz, having won the Miami Masters at the beginning of the month and the Rio tournament in February.
Sunday’s straight-sets victory in just 65 minutes for the El Palmar teenager, who turns 19 next month, was a key clay court title win ahead of May’s French Open in Paris.
His preparations include Masters 1000 clay events in Madrid and Rome, before moving to the Roland Garros stadium, where he will be one of the tournament favourites, despite his relative inexperience.
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