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Rafael Nadal Wins Australian Open 6-4, 6-4, 6-3

Rafael Nadal Wins Australian Open 6-4, 6-4, 6-3

Carlos Alcaraz becomes youngest year-end No. 1 in men’s tennis as Rafael Nadal’s slump continues at ATP Finals

Rafael Nadal, who has been struggling of late, won his third-straight Australian Open title with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 win over defending champion Andy Murray. AP Photo/Al Tielemans

(AP)

By Mike Powell and Bob Ford:

TENNIS

NO. 1 IN YEAR-END MEN’S TENNIS

Carlos Alcaraz earns ranking No. 1

Rafael Nadal, who has been struggling of late, won his third-straight Australian Open title with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 win over defending champion Andy Murray.

In his 20th career title, Nadal set a new record for the youngest tennis player to finish No. 1 on the season, and he accomplished it with his second straight win at the Australian Open, ending Andre Agassi’s streak at 11.

Rafael Nadal became the youngest No. 1 on the year for the second time. In 2009, he became the first man in ATP history to win 12 titles at the Australian Open in succession.

“It’s amazing, I’m extremely happy,” said Nadal, 30. “It’s the best feeling in the world to be No. 1 at the end of the year. It was a hard year for me and I just wanted to show I’m a better player than I was.”

Nadal beat Murray in his first two matches at Melbourne Park, setting up a final that ended with his second win of the tournament. His winning percentage was the best of Murray’s career, at 69.7 percent, which is also the best in history in his first year of the season.

Alcaraz was the first man to finish in the top 10 of the year-end ranking for men’s tennis, having placed at No. 10 for the second straight week.

He is the 15

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