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Alcaraz joins illustrious quarterfinal club

  • Matt Trollope

Before yesterday, just 11 active players could say they had completed their Grand Slam quarterfinal set.

On Monday night in Melbourne, Carlos Alcaraz became the 12th.

The Spaniard’s 6-4 6-4 6-0 win over Miomir Kecmanovic sent him through to his first Australian Open quarterfinal, a happier outcome than 12 months earlier when he missed AO 2023 with injury.

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It is his fifth consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance, a streak dating back to the 2022 US Open.

Alcaraz completed his full suite of major quarterfinals on Monday night in Melbourne

“It feels better to make the quarterfinal here in Melbourne. It's really big tournament, an amazing tournament,” said Alcaraz, who faces Alexander Zverev for a place in his fourth straight major semifinal.

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“It's great to find this level, to play this level in the matches. I'm feeling better and better every match that I'm playing. Coming into the quarterfinal with a lot of confidence.”

The other active players to have reached the quarterfinal stage at the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open?

That would be Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori, Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner, Karen Khachanov, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev.

But what separates Alcaraz from almost all of those names is the age at which he achieved this feat.

At 20 years and 262 days when he won his fourth-round match on Monday night, Alcaraz became the fourth-youngest man in Open era history to reach all four major quarterfinals.

Only Nadal and Djokovic, and Boris Becker, were younger when they did so.

Alcaraz’s incredible Grand Slam success at this early career juncture has seen him notch several other ‘youngest since’ milestones.

He has reached seven major quarterfinals by age 20, an Open era achievement bettered only by Swedish legends Bjorn Borg and Mats Wilander, who each appeared in eight before turning 21. 

Borg and Wilander are also the only two men above Alcaraz on the list for Grand Slam winning percentage attained under the age of 21.

Should Alcaraz beat Zverev, his career Grand Slam win-loss record would improve to 46-9 – a success rate of 83.64 per cent.

This would see him leapfrog Wilander (83.58 per cent) and trail only Borg (84.38 per cent) among under-21 men in the Open era.