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As the world number one, top seed and bookmakers’ favourite for the French Open 2023, Carlos Alcaraz entered the tournament in search of a piece of history by winning at Roland-Garros for the first time.

Alcaraz won his first Grand Slam title by prevailing at the 2022 US Open and turned 20 less than a month before the start of the action in Paris.

Reigning women’s champion Iga Swiatek, who also won in New York after collecting her second French Open title, turned 22 during this year’s French Open.

Was Swiatek the youngest French Open champion? Can Alcaraz follow suit in the men’s competition? Who holds the records? Here’s what you need to know.

MORE: French Open prize money 2023: How much money do the players earn? Total purse, breakdown for field

Youngest ever French Open winners: Can Alcaraz break the record?

Spaniard Alcaraz knew he could become one of the youngest winners of the French Open if he lifted the trophy. By contrast, reigning champion and compatriot Rafael Nadal — ruled out through injury — turned 37 a day before Alcaraz beat Lorenzo Musetti in the fourth round.

Even victory in 2023, however, would make Alcaraz a sizeable three years too late to break the record for the youngest men’s singles champion.

Just to make Alcaraz seem even older by comparison, he’d also be almost four years past the age of the youngest women’s singles champion.

Youngest French Open champions: Monica Seles, Michael Chang

Astonishingly, Monica Seles had won three successive French Open titles by the time she was the age Alcaraz was at the start of this year’s competition.

Playing as a citizen of Yugoslavia, Seles was a mere 16 years and 189 days old when she beat the great Steffi Graf in straight sets in the 1990 final, and her remarkable record is yet to be broken.

French fans were used to watching wonderkids win by then: a year earlier, American Michael Chang had been 17 years and 110 days old when he earned the men’s singles title in Paris.

Seles, who became an American citizen in 1994, went on to beat Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the 1991 final and Graf again in 1992, winning a third-set tie-break against the German 10-8.

Chang’s title was the only one he captured at a Grand Slam, although he reached the final in 1995 as part of a purple patch that also took him to the finals of the Australian Open and US Open in 1996.

How Alcaraz and Swiatek rank among youngest Grand Slam winners

Chang’s record as the youngest man to win a singles Grand Slam title still stands, with Alcaraz’s victory at Flushing Meadows putting him seventh on the top-10 list.

Four of the five youngest, including Nadal, made the list by winning the French Open. Alcaraz must win a Grand Slam in 2023 to make the top 10: he will move ninth on the list if he triumphs at the French Open, Wimbledon or the US Open, knocking current pundit John McEnroe outside the 10.

Despite only being a few days past 19 when she won her first Grand Slam title in Paris in 2020, Swiatek was still almost a year too old to become one of the 10 youngest ever female major champions.

The Polish prodigy became the youngest player to win the title since 1992, when Seles secured the last of her honours at the French Open.

Youngest men’s singles Grand Slam title winners

Player Title Age
Michael Chang French Open 17 years, 3 months, 17 days
Boris Becker Wimbledon 17 years, 7 months, 15 days
Mats Wilander French Open 17 years, 9 months, 15 days
Bjorn Borg French Open 18 years, 10 days
Rafael Nadal French Open 19 years, 3 days
Pete Sampras US Open 19 years, 29 days
Carlos Alcaraz US Open 19 years, 4 months, 7 days
Stefan Edberg Australian Open 19 years, 10 months, 19 days
Lleyton Hewitt US Open 20 years, 6 months, 16 days
John McEnroe US Open 20 years, 6 months, 24 days

Youngest women’s singles Grand Slam title winners

Player Title Age
Martina Hingis 1997 Australian Open 16 years, 3 months, 26 days
Monica Seles 1990 French Open 16 years, 6 months, 7 days
Tracy Austin 1979 US Open 16 years, 8 months, 28 days
Martina Hingis 1997 Wimbledon 16 years, 9 months, 5 days
Martina Hingis 1997 US Open 16 years, 11 months, 8 days
Monica Seles 1991 Australian Open 17 years, 1 month, 24 days
Maria Sharapova 2004 Wimbledon 17 years, 2 months, 14 days
Martina Hingis 1998 Australian Open 17 years, 4 months, 1 day
Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 1989 French Open 17 years, 5 months, 23 days
Monica Seles 1991 French Open 17 years, 6 months, 6 days

Youngest world number one: Alcaraz the men’s record holder

Alcaraz cannot displace Nadal as the fourth-youngest player ever to have won the French Open men’s singles, but he did become world number one quicker than the most successful male player in Roland Garros history.

Victory over Casper Ruud in the 2022 US Open men’s final made Alcaraz the youngest ever men’s world number one at the age of 19 years and 130 days. 

He smashed the previous record, held by Lleyton Hewitt when he also won the US Open at the age of 20 years and 268 days.

Who are the oldest French Open winners?

At the other end of the age spectrum, Rafael Nadal became the oldest player to become French Open champion in 2022, turning 36 two days before the men’s final on June 5.

Andres Gimeno had previously been the oldest French Open champion, winning in 1972 at the age of 34 years and 10 months.

That was Gimeno’s only grand slam win, although he also reached the Australian Open final in 1969, losing to Rod Laver. Gimeno remains tennis’ oldest first-time major champion.



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