Carlos Alcaraz matches another Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal record with latest win
Carlos Alcaraz continues to set new records and he did so again on Sunday after his latest win in China.
Alcaraz became the first player to earn 60 tour-level wins in 2023 as he beat Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti 6-2 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals at the China Open in Beijing.
And that was enough to book him his 13th quarter-final appearance of the season, matching a record that was set by tennis legend Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Since 2000, only three players under 21 have made more in a calendar year, with Lleyton Hewitt (2001), Rafael Nadal (2005) and Novak Djokovic (2007) all achieving that feat.
It was another snapshot of the impressive consistency Alcaraz has shown in 2023, as he has rarely missed out in the early rounds of tournaments.
“Today was a perfect match for me,” said Alcaraz after his comfortable win against Musetti.
“You can improve and be better every day but I was proud of my tennis playing this level. I played high-quality, great shots and a great return game. It was a great match and I enjoyed playing today. I enjoy China.
“A goal for me today was to start strong. Try to push him to the limit at the start. Trying to dominate the match, not make him feel comfortable. Move him and not let him hit his shots.”
Earning 60 wins in a season for the first time in his is another impressive statistic for Alcaraz, with the last players to achieve that feat being Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime last year.
Daniil Medvedev won 61 matches in 2021 and Rafael Nadal claimed an impressive 68 wins in the 2017 season.
Alcaraz will get a chance to move towards 70 match wins for the season in the next few weeks, as he could still have three matches to play in Beijing and will then play in the Shanghai and Paris Masters tournaments before competing in the ATP Finals in Turin.
He is in a race with Djokovic to finish the year as the world No 1 and he has a chance to gain ground on his great rival over the next couple of weeks as the Serbian is not playing in Beijing or Shanghai.
“We have really beautiful battle for the No. 1 spot after the great performance Djokovic had in the American season, let’s say. He’s the No. 1 right now,” said Alcaraz.
“I’m coming here to China with extra motivation to try to recover it in the race, of course, in the ranking. As I said, it’s something that I have in my mind every time I practice, in every tournament.
“Is not obligatory for me to recover that, but of course, you have to put the goals in the year. So for me, No 1 spot is one of the main goals for me.
“In these great tournaments, I’m looking to do great to be able to be close or recover that number.
“Then next year I’m looking to play the four Grand Slams. I hope to not miss any of them. I will try to do the same things that I’m doing this year.
“I could be more than happy if I won the same tournaments that I won so far of the results that I’m doing this year. That’s my goal for next year. That’s obvious.
“Right now I’m really happy with the level I’m playing, with the result I received so far. The year is not over. There are few tournaments ahead. So hopefully to end that year as good as it started.”
Alcaraz will continue his campaign in Beijing with a quarter-final match against Capser Ruud on Monday.
Former British No 1 predicts who could topple Novak Djokovic and highlights a rising British youngster
Djokovic remains the undisputed king of tennis, but a new rival could topple him.
Andy Murray’s £21m business empire – five of his key successes as Scot adds to social media portfolio
Murray is already prominent on Instagram and Twitter and now the Scot has confirmed his arrival on the business network LinkedIn.
Jannik Sinner described as a ‘shark’ as key to his matchup with Novak Djokovic is revealed
Jannik Sinner has been labelled a “shark”, while the key to his matchup with Novak Djokovic has been explained.
Taylor Fritz addresses ‘cocky’ allegations labelled against Holger Rune
“I like Holger,” says Taylor Fritz.
Carlos Alcaraz sends message to Novak Djokovic as he addresses Golden Slam prospect
Carlos Alcaraz has sent a warning to Novak Djokovic as he addressed the ‘Golden Slam’ talk.
Carlos Alcaraz reveals his biggest career goal and explains how he must improve in 2024
Carlos Alcaraz has divulged a goal that is “the biggest thing right now”
Jessica Pegula laments gender pay gap and highlights how women’s tennis can improve
“The pay gap is still very big,” says Jessica Pegula.
Novak Djokovic hailed as the ‘most complete player’ who has ‘evolved at a level yet to be reached’
A former world No 5 has lauded Novak Djokovic’s completeness and the way he has evolved.
Boris Becker reveals a Holger Rune attribute matched only by ‘benchmark’ Carlos Alcaraz
Boris Becker has highlighted a Holger Rune quality he feels only Carlos Alcaraz shares.
Ranking the best-ever individual prize-money seasons in tennis: Novak Djokovic peerless as he is only star to hit $21m mark
Novak Djokovic features six times in the top 10.