Carlos Alcaraz beat Casper Ruud in the 2022 US Open final to win his maiden major and climb to No 1 in the ATP Rankings. But where does he slot in in the top 10 youngest men’s Grand Slam winners list after his triumph?
Michael Chang has been sitting top of the list for 33 years and he is unlikely to lose that position in the near future as not too many men’s players turn professional before the age of 17 these days.
Alcaraz was not close to displacing the American at the top as he was 19 years and 129 days on finals day at Flushing Meadows, but his victory means Marat Safin slips outside the top 10 as he was 20 years and 228 days when he won the 2000 US Open.
Alcaraz secured a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 victory over Ruud in what was the youngest-ever US Open final with the Norwegian only 23 years old.
Top 10 youngest men’s Grand Slam winners (updated September 11)
10. John McEnroe – 20 years, 205 days
The American won seven Grand Slams, but his first came at the 1979 US Open when he beat Vitas Gerulaitis 7–5, 6–3, 6–3 at Flushing Meadows.
McEnroe won three titles in a row in New York while he was also victorious in New York in 1984. His three other major singles trophies came at Wimbledon in 1981, 1983 and 1984.
9. Lleyton Hewitt – 20 years, 198 days
Hewitt was only 16-years-old when he won his maiden ATP Tour singles title at the Adelaide International in 1998, third youngest behind Aaron Krickstein and Michael Chang.
He had to wait another three years to win his maiden Grand Slam as he was in his 20s when he lifted the 2001 US Open while the following year he won his second and last major at Wimbledon.
8. Stefan Edberg – 19 years, 324 days
The great Edberg turned professional in 1983, won his maiden singles title the following year and in 1985 he won the Australian Open while he was still in his teens.
The former world No 1 from Sweden also won the title at Melbourne Park in 1987 while he won Wimbledon in 1988 and 1990 and the US Open in 1991 and 1992.
7. Carlos Alcaraz – 19 years, 129 days
Great things had been predicted of Alcaraz since 2021, but no one quite expected him to rise this quickly as he won the US Open on only his second attempt. He reached the quarter-final at his debut in 2021 and went all the way this year, defeating Casper Ruud in four sets.
The teenager is also the youngest player to win a Grand Slam since his compatriot Rafael Nadal won the French Open in 2005.
6. Pete Sampras – 19 years, 29 days
A teenager named Pete Sampras became the US Open’s youngest-ever male singles champion in 1990 as he defeated Andre Agassi 6–4, 6–3, 6–2. He also beat Ivan Lendl en route to the final to end Lendl’s streak of eight men’s finals in a row at the US Open.
It was the first of his 14 majors, which was an Open Era record when he won his final Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows in 2002.
5. Rafael Nadal – 19 years, 3 days
Back in 2005 Nadal won his maiden Grand Slam and he is still winning majors in 2022. Just a few days after turning 19, Nadal defeated Mariano Puerta 6–7 (6–8), 6–3, 6–1, 7–5 in the final at Roland Garros to win the first of his 14 titles in Paris.
He was the first teenager to win a major singles title since Sampras won the 1990 US Open. Nadal won an incredible 11 titles in 2005.
Seventeen years later he is still at the top of game as he now has 22 Grand Slams to his name with the last coming at, you guessed it, Roland Garros.
4. Bjorn Borg – 18 years, 10 days
The “Ice Man” – or he would probably have been known as “Ice Boy” in his teens – represented Sweden in the Davis Cup when he was just 15 in 1972 and the following year he turned professional.
He had barely had a full season on the tour when he won the first of his 11 Grand Slams at Roland Garros in 1974, just days after he turned 18.
The last of Borg’s 11 majors was at the French Open in 1981.
3. Mats Wilander – 17 years, 293 days
The first 17-year-old and one of three Swedes on the list, Wilander turned pro in 1981 and a year later he won his maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, beating Guillermo Vilas, 1–6, 7–6 (8–6), 6–0, 6–4.
Wilander went on to win six more majors with the last coming at 1988 US Open. He also won the Australian Open and French Open that year while he made it to the quarter-final of Wimbledon.
2. Boris Becker – 17 years, 228 days
A young German named Boris Becker made the world sit up and take note of his talent when he became the first unseeded player to win Wimbledon in 1985.
Becker had turned professional only the previous year, but he chipped and dived his way to the title as he beat American Kevin Curren 6–3, 6–7 (4–7), 7–6 (7–3), 6–4 in the final.
The German ended up with six majors with his last coming at the 1996 Australian Open.
1. Michael Chang – 17 years, 110 days
Youngster Michael Chang stunned the sporting world when won the 1989 French Open with a 6–1, 3–6, 4–6, 6–4, 6–2 win over Stefan Edberg.
Chang dropped out of school at the age of 15 in 1988 in order to turn professional and just over a year later he held aloft the men’s trophy at Roland Garros.
It was his only Grand Slam title, but he did reach two other major finals in 1996 as he finished runner-up at the Australian Open and US Open.
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