LONDON (AP) — Carlos Alcaraz won the Queen’s Club Championships final on Sunday for his first ATP title on grass and reclaimed the top ranking, ensuring he will enter Wimbledon next month as the No. 1 seed.
Despite struggling at times in the first set, Alcaraz beat Alex De Minaur 6-4, 6-4 for his fifth title of the year and 11th overall.
That saw the 20-year-old Spaniard move above Novak Djokovic in the rankings and confirmed the U.S. Open champion as a serious challenger to the Serbian’s crown at Wimbledon. Alcaraz lost in the fourth round to Jannik Sinner last year.
“The chances don’t change so much. I mean, Novak is coming to Wimbledon,” Alcaraz said. “Right now I’m feeling better than the beginning of the week, that’s obvious.
“Of course, recovering the No. 1 before Wimbledon, it gives you extra motivation, it gives you extra confidence coming into Wimbledon. But it doesn’t change too much if I play Wimbledon as the No. 2 or the No. 1.”
Sunday’s final was Alcaraz’s first on grass, in only the third tournament of his young career on the surface.
He had to save two break points in the eighth game of the first set, broke in the next game, and then served out for the set.
Alcaraz won the only break point of the second set, when De Minaur double-faulted, and sealed the title on his first match point when the Australian sent a return long.
“It means a lot to have my name on the trophy,” Alcaraz said. “It was special to play here where so many legends have won. To see my name surrounded by the great champions is amazing.”
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