Carlos Alcaraz reclaimed the world number one ranking after winning at Queen's on Sunday
London (AFP) - Carlos Alcaraz will return to world number one after beating Alex de Minaur 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to win his first title on grass at Queen’s Club.
The Spaniard’s fifth title of the season moves him back ahead of 23-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings.
“It means a lot to have my name on the trophy,” said Alcaraz after joining the likes of Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras and John McEnroe as former winners at Queen’s.
“It’s special for me to play here. So many legends have won here so to see my name on the trophy surrounded by the great champions for me is amazing.”
Alcaraz was playing on the grass for just the third tournament of his career.
The 20-year-old has failed to get past the fourth round in two previous attempts at Wimbledon, but his impressive showing suggests he will be the biggest threat to Djokovic securing an eighth title at the All England Club next month.
Despite Djokovic’s Wimbledon record, Alcaraz will now be the top seed for the third Grand Slam of the season.
“It helps a lot to come into Wimbledon as number one, the top seed. It’s amazing but once again it wouldn’t be possible without the support of all the people through the whole week,” added Alcaraz.
After battling past French lucky loser Arthur Rinderknech in the first round, the US Open champion did not drop a set in his final four matches at Queen’s.
De Minaur had dumped out Andy Murray and world number six Holger Rune on his route to the final.
But the Australian was left to rue Alcaraz’s ability to win the big points in a tight contest.
“It’s been a great week for me,” said De Minaur. “We were close but weren’t able to get it done today. Too good by Carlos.”
De Minaur had two break points for the chance to serve for the first set when he led 4-3.
Alcaraz responded, though, to hold serve and immediately break the world number 18 in the next game before serving out for the set.
He then needed lengthy treatment as he had strapping applied to his right quad.
However, Alcaraz’s movement did not seem affected as he again pounced with his only break point to move ahead 3-2 in the second set.
Two rare errors gave De Minaur some hope in the final game as Alcaraz found himself 0-30 down.
But his booming serve dug him out of trouble as four straight points secured the title and a return to world number one.