Carlos Alcaraz eclipsed the $20 million mark in prize money following his runner-up finish in the Cincinnati Masters final, which is a huge milestone in comparison to players of his age.
The 20-year-old becomes the first tennis player, male or female, born in the 2000s to attain and cross that mark, after netting $556,630 following his run to the final of the Western & Southern Open. Alcaraz, who began the week on $19,810,077, has now earned $20,366,707 in his career so far.
Alcaraz pips Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic and moves into 29th place in the list of Top Prize Money Earners on the ATP Tour of all time. For a player who only turned professional in 2018, it represents a colossal rise, having made close to 50% of his total prize money this season alone ($8,537,064).
Alcaraz and Djokovic played out of the longest best-of-three set final in ATP history (since 1990) and in which Djokovic saved a championship point and prevailed 5-7, 7-6, 7-6 in three hours of 49 minutes of drama and delirium, a match that left tennis drooling for a repeat at this year’s US Open. Despite the gutwrenching defeat, Alcaraz was equally happy that he left everything on the court.
“Exhausted. No, I feel proud of myself, honestly. I was talking and I don’t know why I was crying because I fight until the last ball. I almost beat one of the greatest of all time in our sport. It’s crazy to talk about it right now, but I left the court really, really happy with what I did. Of course, I’ve been talking with my coach, my team, that we are so, so proud of ourselves.”
Defeat is going to have enormous repercussions in the sprint to the No. 1 ranking which will almost certainly change hands after the conclusion of the US Open. Novak Djokovic, who is only 20 points behind in the standings, will reclaim it provided he can avoid a first-round upset in New York next week.
The US Open has flexed its financial muscle for the 2023 edition, increasing its total prize money to $65 million, with the winner of the men’s and women’s singles events pocketing a record $3 million each.