On July 25th, 2022, Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest player to crack the ATP top 5 since Rafa Nadal in 2005.
Alcaraz narrowly passed Casper Ruud in the rankings by five points. To some, this was confusing because over the weekend both men were playing in the finals of two separate ATP tournaments. Alcaraz lost the Hamburg final to Lorenzo Musetti while Ruud defeated Berrettini in the Gstaad final.
Coming into both tournaments Ruud had a 45-point lead over Alcaraz in the live rankings. Although the Norwegian won the title in Switzerland, it was only a 250-level tournament. The Hamburg Open was a 500-level tournament, therefore Alcaraz earned 300 points for making the final.
Ever since the teenager burst onto the scene by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the QF of the 2021 US Open, the comparisons began. Does a young, talented player from Spain sound familiar?
Then in 2022, Alcaraz won the title in Barcelona to become the youngest to crack the top 10 since guess who? It was to the day 17 years earlier that Rafa cracked the top 10 after also winning in Barcelona. Alcaraz then went on to beat the king of clay and capture the crown in Madrid.
The likelihood of another player reaching the heights of Nadal are incredibly slim, even for a player as talented as Alcaraz. Anything could happen over the next one to two decades but in sports making comparisons is what people do.
These comparisons are meant to be fun and to acknowledge how good this teenager is. No one is trying to put pressure on him or imply not having the same success as Nadal would be a failure. Alcaraz himself doesn’t seem stressed. While the comparisons continue to be made, he goes straight to the next tournament and the next match. Between tournaments, he’s also been enjoying relaxing jet ski rides.
Less than two weeks remain until the next big WTA/ATP tournament, the National Bank Open in Toronto/Montreal. Some top players like Alcaraz are getting their reps at smaller tournaments, while Petra Kvitova visited her hometown for the opening of her Hall of Fame.
The two-time Wimbledon Champion displayed both of her Venus Rosewater Dishes at the museum in Fulnek, Czechia. The mayor of the small town, Petr Ertelt, announced the project back in 2020 to pay tribute to the athlete that made her hometown famous.
Speaking of fame, no group of players is more popular than the Big Four. This news is a few days old but in case there are some tennis fans that were on vacation or taking a media break, here it is. For the first and probably the only time ever, the big four of men’s tennis will be playing together!
Novak Djokovic joined Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, and Andy Murray as part of Team Europe for the 2022 Laver Cup. For the past two decades, these four men have battled for any and every accolade that exists in tennis. Now they will be playing on the same team as they attempt to maintain the undefeated 4-0 record of Team Europe at the event.
Tennis and golf have a strong bond. Both sports are often played together at country clubs and share an element of style and prestige. The layouts of the pro tours are similar as well where the biggest events are the major championships.
Many Canadian tennis fans witnessed history as Brooke Henderson won her 2nd major title at the Amundi Evian Championship. Henderson became one of the youngest major winners in LPGA history when she won the 2016 Women’s PGA Championship as an 18-year-old.
Continuing the talk about comparisons, this would be like Bianca Andreescu winning a second grand slam title in a few years. Also, as an 18-year-old, Andreescu was the first Canadian woman to win a major at the 2019 U.S. Open.
Those watching may have also noticed a famous tennis player present the trophy to Brooke.
Two-time grand slam champion (2016 French Open & 2017 Wimbledon) Garbine Muguruza is pictured on the left presenting the trophy.
What a wonderful moment for Canadian sports and tennis fans.