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Top five youngest tennis players to reach Grand Slam finals on all three surfaces

Published at :June 9, 2024 at 10:10 AM
Modified at :June 9, 2024 at 10:10 AM
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(Courtesy : @rolandgarros/X)

Mohammed Fazeel

Carlos Alcaraz has become the youngest man to reach Grand Slam finals on all three surfaces.

A year ago at Roland Garros, Carlos Alcaraz’s stay in Paris did not have a happy ending when he ended up cramping early in the third set of the semi-final against Novak Djokovic. But French Open 2024 hasn’t been the same case for Rafael Nadal’s heir. Alcaraz edged Jannik Sinner in a back-and-forth semifinal match lasting five sets before winning 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

This was the latest chapter in the pair’s rivalry, which saw the Spaniard move to 5-4 in their head-to-head.

By reaching the Roland Garros final for the first time, he becomes the youngest Grand Slam finalist on all three surfaces – hard, clay, and grass court.

Five players, including Alcaraz, have reached the milestone before turning 23. Read on to learn more about them.

5. Jim Courier – 22 years, 10 months

Jim Courier is the oldest man on the list, reaching the milestone at 22 years, and 10 months. Courier achieved this milestone at the 1993 Wimbledon, where he lost to his ever-present rival and fellow American Pete Sampras in four sets. If not for the presence of Sampras, Courier could have notched a few more than his four Grand Slam wins.

Courier’s first final came on clay when he played and defeated Andre Agassi in the 1991 French Open. The same year, he reached his first final on hard courts at the US Open against Stefan Edberg ending in a straight-set loss. 

Jim Courier is 118-38 in Grand Slams and has two titles each, at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. The closest he came to winning on home turf was at the US Open finals in 1991, and the closest brush with the Wimbledon trophy was in the 1993 edition of the tournament. The one-time World No. 1 also reached the French Open final in 1993.

4. Rafael Nadal – 22 years, six months

Rafael Nadal came onto the list in 2009 after reaching the Australian Open finals that year. The Mallorcan’s first appearance in a final came at the 2005 French Open, an event he won that year. The Wimbledon 2006 final was his first at the venue and on the surface, and though he lost to Federer in four sets, showcased his tennis skills away from his favourite surface.

In 2009, his final at Melbourne completed his collection of Grand Slam finals on all surfaces. This time, he got the better of the Federer in five sets.

Nadal boasts a 314-43 win-loss and 22 trophies at Grand Slam events. His greatest success came on the clay courts of Roland Garros, where he won 14 titles, followed by four US Open titles, and two each at Wimbledon and Melbourne.

3. Bjorn Borg – 22 years, two months

Bjorn Borg’s appearance in the 1978 US Open final helped him clinch the record a couple of months past his 22nd birthday. The Swede, however, fell at the final hurdle to American Jimmy Connors in straight sets. The first Grand Slam final of his career on clay was at Roland Garros (1974), and on grass was at the 1976 edition of Wimbledon. 

Borg ended his career with 11 Grand Slam titles and a 141-17 win-loss record at the majors. Among them were six Roland Garros wins and five at Wimbledon. It was 50 years ago this month when Borg won his first Roland Garros trophy.

The legendary Swede never lifted the US Open trophy, though he came close on four occasions (1974,1976,1980,1981). Not once did he manage to reach the Australian Open final. 

2. Andre Agassi – 22 years, one month

Andre Agassi was a year older than Alcaraz when he reached the Wimbledon 1992 final. It was at this edition of the prestigious tournament that he became one of the youngest players to make the Grand Slam finals on all available surfaces. Agassi defeated Goran Ivanisevic in five sets at the 1992 Wimbledon finals. 

Agassi’s first final was on the clay courts of Roland Garros in 1990, followed by an appearance in the US Open finals the same year. The American’s win-loss record in Grand Slams stands at 224-53, and he went on to win eight Grand Slam trophies – four at the Australian Open, two at Flushing Meadows, and one in Roland Garros, and one at SW19.

1. Carlos Alcaraz – 21 years, one month

Alcaraz, at just a month past his 21st birthday, makes him the youngest to reach all Grand Slam finals on all three surfaces. This is one record likely to stay intact for the foreseeable future. The first of his three finals was the US Open (2022), followed by Wimbledon (2023) and French Open (2024). The World No. 2 is 51-10 across majors and 2-0 in Grand Slam finals.

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