Data | With old guards waning and new stars failing to shine, can teen Carlos Alcaraz reverse the trend?

On the day he won the Grand Slam, Carlos Alcaraz also became the No.1 player in the world, the youngest-ever male to reach this position

On the day he won the Grand Slam, Carlos Alcaraz also became the No.1 player in the world, the youngest-ever male to reach this position

Carlos Alcaraz, the 19-year-old Spaniard, became the first male teenager to win a Grand Slam in 16 years, after fellow countryman Rafael Nadal achieved this feat in 2006. On the same day he won the Grand Slam, Alcaraz also became the No.1 player in the world, the youngest-ever male to reach this position. For about two decades now, men’s tennis has been dominated by a triumvirate— Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Since 2003, the Big 3 have won 80% of all Grand Slams. However, in recent years, they have been competing in increasingly fewer games because of various reasons such as injuries, age and vaccine mandates. Other Slam champions — Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev — have not been able to convert their starts into streaks. With the old guard slowly disappearing and new stars failing to shine, young Carlos is set for a long run.

A young star is born

The chart shows the age of male Grand Slam champions in the Open Era. The sign (+) indicates a breakthrough win (when a player wins their first Major), which has become a rarity in the last two decades.

Charts appear incomplete? Click to remove AMP mode

Numero Uno

At the end of the U.S. Open on Sunday, Carlos became the No.1 tennis player at 19 years 4 months and 6 days, the youngest to achieve this feat (according to AFP).

Waning legends

 The graph shows the number of matches played by Nadal (blue), Federer (turquoise), Djokovic (red) and Alcaraz (yellow) each year. While the pandemic had an impact on the number of matches played, the Big 3 have been playing fewer games even otherwise.

Recent stars

 The table shows the Grand Slam results of two recent champions other than the Big 3. After winning the titles, Thiem and Medvedev have not converted them into a streak. R-Round; QF-Quarter-finals; SF-Semi-finals; F-Finals; W-Tournament wins.

The story only considers the date on which tournaments started and not when they ended

Source: Tennis abstract

Also read: Data | Age no bar for the Big Three in men’s tennis as their dominance continues

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