Australian Open: Carlos Alcaraz overtakes big three with unique milestone

The Spaniard bettered the record of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at a Grand Slam event.

Carlos Alcaraz in a file photo; Credit: Carlos Alcaraz Twitter

Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz etched his name in history with his first round appearance at the Australian Open 2022 on Monday. Alcaraz displayed his dominance in the opening round to overcome his Chilean counter-part Alejandro Tabilo 6-2, 6-2, 6-3. However, what was more notable is that, the Spaniard who is seeded 31st for the first time at a major event at the age of 18 years, eight months and twelve days overtook the big three of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic with his unique seeding. The big three, incidentally, were not as young as Alcaraz when they were seeded for the first time at a major event. 

“Being seeded is always good,” said Alcaraz, who made his major main draw debut one year ago at Melbourne Park. “In the early rounds, you kind of avoid meeting the top players, that’s a small advantage that is always welcome. And I think I’ve earned the position.”

A look at the records 

Age of first seeding at Grand Slam

 Player Age Tournament Seed Round
 Carlos Alcaraz 18 years, 8 months, 12 days 2022 Australian Open 31  TBC
 Rafael Nadal 18 years, 11 months, 20 days 2005 Roland Garros 4 W
 Novak Djokovic 19 years, 3 months, 6 days 2006 US Open 20 R32
 Roger Federer 19 years, 10 months, 17 days 2001 Wimbledon 15 QF

Youngest Players To Be Seeded At The Australian Open (Open Era)

 Player Age Tournament
 Bjorn Borg 17 years, 6 months, 18 days 1973
 Boris Becker 18 years, 3 days 1985 
 John Alexander 18 years, 6 months, 15 days 1970
 Yannick Noah 18 years, 7 months, 7 days 1978 
 Carlos Alcaraz 18 years, 8 months, 12 days 2022

The Spaniard, in fact, is the youngest player to be seeded at a Grand Slam since Michael Chang (18 years, 6 months and 5 days) at the 1990 US Open, and Boris Becker (18 years, 3 days) at the 1985 Australian Open. 

“I like being established on Tour, when players know you’re there and see you as a close rival,” said last year’s Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion. “Last year was a great year for me, when I consolidated myself as one of the best on Tour. I’m almost in the Top 30, and it’s very good when other players are getting to know you, and that they have a bit more respect for you.”

READ MORE: Australian Open: Nick Kyrgios advances to second round to face Daniil Medvedev

Alcaraz also believes that he has a big chance of recording his best finish at the Grand Slam in the Australian Open this year. He had finished in the quarter-finals of the US Open last year. 

“I like seeing the draw, I like dreaming, seeing who’s in the semi-finals. To me, that’s dreaming right now,” he added. Maybe the Spaniard should take things one step at a time, but then again, Alcaraz does things a little quicker than most.

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