World No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz continued his relentless run at the 2023 Indian Wells Masters on Monday after defeating Tallon Griekspoor in straight sets to book a spot in the fourth round. The 19-year-old is yet to drop a set in California as he looks to add more acclaim to his record, having already cemented his place as one of the best talents in men’s tennis right now.
And as if the performances didn’t speak for themselves, the reigning U.S. Open champion claimed another piece of history after racking up his 100th victory on the ATP Tour. That’s after accumulating a century of wins in the competition faster than almost any other before him, beating even the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for pace.
Only John McEnroe (131) scored 100 ATP wins quicker than Alcaraz, who crossed the mark in his 132nd outing on the Tour. And the teenager was understandably pleased with his accolade as he seeks to add Indian Wells to his list of achievements.
“A lot has happened since that first ATP win [against Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the 2020 Rio Open],” the Spaniard told reporters after beating Griekspoor. “I’m really proud of myself to have my 100th win on the tour, in like 132 matches.
“I saw I was the second player in history with less matches to be able to get to 100 wins. I’m really proud of myself about that.”
Fast starts aren’t everything in tennis, though it doesn’t hurt Alcaraz’s reputation to notch 100 ATP victories faster than the likes of Andre Agassi and Nadal, who needed 135 and 137 matches to hit their own hundreds, respectively. Success came even less naturally to Djokovic and Federer in their early days on the Tour, too, considering they required 143 and 169 matches before they each won 100.
Alcaraz also joined an exclusive club as just the third player born after 2000 to win 100 Tour matches. Felix Auger-Aliassime, 22, and Jannik Sinner, 21, are currently the only other players fitting that criteria who crossed that line first.
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It’s but another sign of the prodigious talent possessed by an athlete who’s been dubbed by some as the second coming of Nadal, though Alcaraz is very much forging his own legacy. Triumphs in Madrid and Miami last year saw the Murcian add two Masters 1000 titles to his record, ending the year as the top-ranked men’s player in the world.
His Indian Wells adventure will continue against Draper on Tuesday evening (1 a.m. Wednesday UK time), where he’ll hope to beat the man who ousted Andy Murray from the draw. “I know that I’m going to have to play my best, give my 100 per cent on court,” said Alcaraz ahead of the fourth-round fixture.
“I played against him in Basel [and won] 7-5 in the third, I think. It’s going to be a really tough match and I’m going to enjoy it. I’m ready. I love playing those kinds of matches. I think it’s going to be a really beautiful match to watch for the crowd, and obviously, I’m going to enjoy the match.”
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