Alcaraz, like Nadal: to the first Grand Slam with 17 years

The young Spanish tennis player beat Dellien in two sets and qualifies for the Australian Open. Only Nadal and Arantxa debuted when they were younger than him in a major.


Carlos Alcaraz continues to make history in Spanish tennis. With 17 years, eight months and eight days, the Murcian qualified for the first time for a Grand Slam, the Australian Open. A success that only two legends of the Navy achieved before him, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, who debuted at Roland Garros against the American Elise Burgin at the age of 15, and Rafa Nadal, who made his debut at Wimbledon against the Croatian Mario Ancic at the age of 17 and 20 days. With him and Vilella, who also qualified this Tuesday in Doha, there will be 15 Spaniards in the tournament, 11 boys and four girls.

In the third round of the ocean major qualifier, Alcaraz got rid of Ecuadorian Hugo Dellien, second seed in qualifying and who has already played six majors. He also did it with amazing ease to win 6-2, 6-3 in 82 minutes. A beating of a 27-year-old tennis player who happened to be one of the most improved on the circuit, due to his late joining the elite. “I'm very happy, I really wanted to be able to compete to five sets and see my limits," said Carlos after his victory. "What I look at is the confidence and the level I have, not the historical data, because the important thing is to improve each day, "he pointed out." I tried to loosen up and get rid of the nerves I had before the game, without thinking about what could happen. I looked at the now, point to point, "he explained.

Alcaraz scored a great game and put the points on the i from the start with a break to greet his rival. Then he lost his serve and in a messy and somewhat crazy duel, he remained calm and was able to add three more breaks in the first set with which he took the lead. The second set began with the same determination and this time he closed the door to Dellien in his services with the mastery of a veteran. The previous days, in the Doha preview, he had eliminated Horansky (28 years old) in three sets and Karlovskiy (26) in two tie-breaks. Carlos reaches the top flight in world tournaments on the second try. In September he fell two games away from entering Roland Garros.

This Thursday he will travel to Melbourne to settle in the tough Australian Open bubble after passing the PCR control and filling out extensive paperwork. He will live the experience that the Spanish tennis aces went through before him, in search of a place among them. For now, take the first step and it looks like you can go a long, successful road if nothing goes wrong. His coach is Juan Carlos Ferrero, champion at Roland Garros, but who took longer than his pupil to enter a major. What has been said, history.

Results of the Australian Open preview.

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