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Carlos Alcaraz Captures Queen’s Club Title, Regains World No. 1 Ranking

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain poses with the winner’s trophy after victory against Alex De Minaur of Australia in the Men’s Singles Final match on Day Seven of the cinch Championships at The Queen’s Club on June 25, 2023 in London, England. Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Staring at the service box, Carlos Alcaraz thumped his target and landed on top of the world.

An ambitious Alcaraz beat Alex de Minaur 6-4, 6-4 in the Queen’s Club final to claim his first career grass-court crown, reclaim world No. 1 and earn top-seeded status for the first time at Wimbledon.

What a week of achievement for the second-ranked Spaniard, who won his fifth title of the season surpassing seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic to regain the top spot in the ATP rankings.

Contesting just his ninth tournament of the season, Alcaraz is now a champion for all surfaces winning his five titles on three different surfaces: the historic grass of Queen’s Club in London, Indian Wells on hard courts and a trio of clay-court championships in Rio, Barcelona and Madrid.

It all adds up to Alcaraz producing a 40-4 record and tying Daniil Medvedev for the lead in most ATP titles this season.

US Open champion Alcaraz said the top spot on the line would give him even more motivation for this, his first grass-court final. An energized Alcaraz relied on his explosive serve, stinging forehands and his all-court acumen to win his 11th career title.

The top seed smacked seven aces against one double fault, saved both break points he faces and won 12 of 18 trips to net including a couple of tremendous front-court stands.

A week after his girlfiend, British No. 1 Katie Boulter, won her maiden WTA championship before festive home fans in Nottingham, Australian No. 1 de Minaur created the early break point chances, but ultimately could not dent a determined Alcaraz.

“Look, it’s been a great week for me,” de Minaur said. “We were close, but I wasn’t able to get it done today.

“Too good by Carlos. Congratulations for your first grass-court title.”

Working the low slice backhand approach, de Minaur pushed Alcaraz to deuce in the sixth game. Alcaraz tamed trouble holding for 3-all.

Two games later, de Minaur belted a backhand return rushing the Spaniard into a netted reply for the first break point of the final. Alcaraz rocketed a 135 mph ace in response.

Quick off the mark, de Minaur ran down a drop volley and pushed a backhand pass for a second break point. Spreading the court cleverly, Alcaraz again defused danger holding to even after eight games.

Turning the tables, Alcaraz banged a backhand return to earn break point in the ninth game. Belting backhands crosscourt with more vigor, Alcaraz hammered out an errant reply drawing first-break blood for 5-4.

An outrageous net display from Alcaraz saw the Spaniard reflex three volleys in a row right back sending de Minaur sprawling in chase. Alcaraz followed that with a 90 mph forehand winner down the line for triple set point.

On his second set point, Alcaraz slid his third ace down the middle to cap the 50-minute opening set.

Following the set, Alcaraz took treatment to have strapping wrapped around his right thigh.

If you think net play doesn’t exist on the ATP Tour anymore, watch some of the exchanges these two had. The first Aussie to contest the Queen’s Club final since his Davis Cup captain, Lleyton Hewitt, beat James Blake to take the 2006 championship, de Minaur dazzled in the front court at times.

Leaping for a spinning high backhand volley, de Minaur darted for a backhand drop volley stab in a net squence that would have made People’s Monday finalist Patrick Rafter proud. It helped de Minaur hold for 2-1.

Cumulative pressure cracked the Aussie, who hit his second double fault into net ceding the break at a 3-2 lead to the top seed after 79 minutes of play.

Seeing the title and No. 1 on the horizon, Alcaraz sped through the finish line rallying from love-30 down in the last game to seal his status as King of Queens and world No. 1 again.