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September 28, 2022 6:00 AM EDT

Carlos Alcaraz, the youngest men’s tennis player to ever achieve the world’s No. 1 ranking, is frighteningly good at his game. He deploys drop shots when opponents least expect them, angles winners to the far edges of the court, and chases down shots that he has no right to reach—then does it again. With his U.S. Open victory in September, Alcaraz has officially arrived, leading a young generation of talent. Tennis is starving for the next global force, following the recent retirements of greats Serena Williams and Roger Federer. Alcaraz is it.

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Write to Sean Gregory at sean.gregory@time.com.

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