Carlos Alcaraz is set to make his first Grand Slam appearance.
The 17-year-old Spaniard is seeing out a 14-day hard quarantine ahead of the Australian Open – a small price to pay for the opportunity to test himself against the world’s best following his rapid rise up the rankings over the past 12 months.
“It’s amazing to be here,” said Alcaraz on Friday from his hotel room in Melbourne. “I’m very young and the Australian Open is going to push me for the rest of the season.”
Already garnering attention following his results in 2020, Alcaraz booked his ticket to Melbourne after defeating Filip Horansky, Evgeny Karlovskiy and Hugo Dellien at the men’s qualifying event in Doha, Qatar.
When the Australian Open finally begins on 8 February, he will become the youngest player to feature in the men’s main draw at Melbourne Park since Thanasi Kokkinakis in 2014.
Things appear to be happening rather fast for the Murcia native. It hardly seems a moment ago that he was leading Spain to the Junior Davis Cup title in 2018, but his rise up the rankings last year was impressive.
Alcaraz started 2020 at No. 490 in the world and finished the year at No. 141 – the youngest player inside the men’s top 600.
He won five professional singles titles; two on the ITF World Tennis Tour at M15 level on home soil in Manacor, and three at ATP Challengers in Trieste, Barcelona and Alicante.