Carlos Alcaraz had to work hard for his victory against Tallon Griekspoor Monday night at the BNP Paribas Open, but his reward made the late evening shift well worth it. With a 7-6(4), 6-3 result, the 19-year-old secured a milestone moment in his young career by notching his 100th tour-level win.
Now with a 100-32 record, Alcaraz needed the second-fewest matches to hit the century mark among the 28 World No. 1s in the history of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, behind only John McEnroe, who did it in one match fewer.
While the Spaniard will have his sights set on bigger goals this week — namely, winning the Indian Wells title and returning to World No. 1 — he took a moment to address his latest achievement post-match.
“I’m really proud to get my 100th win on the ATP Tour and I hope it’s the first 100 of many,” said Alcaraz, who beat his own internal clock to reach the milestone. “Honestly, I searched that stat today, [but] I didn’t know. I thought it was in the next round,” he admitted through a smile.
Alcaraz won a closely contested opening set, raising his level in the tie-break after the aggressive Griekspoor matched him shot for shot to that point. While the Spaniard did not consistently hit the heights of his opening-round win against Thanasi Kokkinakis, he still produced plenty of show-stopping winners, complete with his usual complement of drop shots.
Some precision passing shots helped Alcaraz take a 3-0 lead in set two, with the Spaniard saving his first two break points of the tournament to consolidate an early break. Down 0/30 as he served out the match, he dialed up the power to win the final four points of the match, with NBA legends Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki among those enjoying the show.
Next up for Alcaraz is Briton Jack Draper, who defeated Andy Murray 7-6(6), 6-2 earlier on Monday night. The pair will contest a second ATP Head2Head meeting on Tuesday evening, after Alcaraz won a three-setter in Basel last October.
“I’m ready. I love playing those kind of matches,” said the Spaniard. “Jack’s playing really well. I played against him just once in Basel, not a long time ago. It was really tough. I know that I have to put my best level, I have to show my 100 per cent to [beat] a great opponent like Jack. 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.”