Fascinating games

Tennis-Alcaraz becomes youngest ATP 500 winner with Rio title

Two years after winning his first tour-level match in Rio de Janeiro, 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest to win an ATP 500 title at the same event on Sunday when he beat Diego Schwartzman in the final of the Rio Open. It was a second tour-level title for Alcaraz after winning at Umag last year and a 6-4 6-2 win over 13th-placed Argentine Schwartzman made him the youngest ever champion ATP 500 since the category was created in 2009.

“I honestly can’t believe it. It’s been a great week for me, playing at a really good level,” Alcaraz said on the pitch after their win. “First clay-court tournament for a long time, so I’m really happy with the performance all week. It’s an incredible feeling right now.”

Alcaraz, who won the NextGen ATP Finals in 2021, entered Sunday’s final after having to play both his quarter-final and his last four matches on Saturday due to a schedule blockage due to rain more early in the week. He beat top seed and world number six Matteo Berrettini and fellow Italian Fabio Fognini, a former top-10 player, and climbed to a career-best 20th when the ATP rankings were updated on Monday.

“It’s been a tough week,” said Alcaraz, who withdrew from this week’s ATP 500 tournament on the hard courts in Acapulco, Mexico, due to mild boredom. “To be in the top 20 was a goal for me at the end of the year (2021) and to be able to do it at the start is incredible.”

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)