Back in February which seems like a lifetime ago now over in Rio de Janeiro a 16 year old Spaniard called Carlos Alcaraz made the headlines with two very good performances which included a first round win against Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Carlos turned 17 a few months ago and was in action at his coach (Juan Carlos Ferrero’s) academy 25th year anniversary and was impressive in his performances during the exhibition event.
Over in Trieste in Italy, the 17 year old came through a qualifying round against top seed Tobias Kamke to qualify for the main draw.
On route to the semi-finals the Spaniard didn’t drop a set until his semi-final battle against 18 year old Lorenzo Musetti who had a full home crowd supporting him but Carlos came through to win 7-5 2-6 6-3 against last years Australian Open junior champion.
In the final he was up against another Italian and qualifier in Riccardo Bonadio. Despite wining 6-4 6-3 and winning his first ATP Challenger Title it wasn’t completely straight forward for Carlos.
He was super strong in the first set but his level dipped in the second and slipped down 1-3 to the Italian. Bonadio had points for a 4-1 lead in the second set but was pegged back by Carlos who reeled off five games in a row to win his first Challenger event.
A big achievement for Carlos who becomes the third youngest winner of a challenger event of the last ten years after Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alex Zverev and the 17th youngest winner of all time on the Challenger circuit.
With his ranking rising to around 220 in the world and withdrawals expected from Roland Garros it is possible we could see Carlos in a Roland Garros qualifying draw which is cut to 96 this year.