'I am one of the favorite players to win Roland Garros': The meteoric rise of 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz

    Carlos Alcaraz has risen from No. 32 in the world at the beginning of the year to No. 6 ahead of the French Open.

    (CNN)Once a ruling dynasty has been established, it can prove difficult to shift.

    The reign of the "Big Three" -- Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic -- over men's tennis has spanned Carlos Alcaraz's entire life.
    On July 6, 2003, the day after Alcaraz turned two months old, Federer won his first grand slam title at Wimbledon, kickstarting an era in which the 'Big Three' have been victorious at 61 of the past 74 grand slam tournaments.
      In that time, various players have been billed as the "next generation" in men's tennis; in 2015, it was Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic; in 2019, it was Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas; in 2022, it is Carlos Alcaraz.
        Alcaraz (right) beat Nadal in three sets in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open earlier this month.
        So far, none of this "next generation" have consistently challenged the dominance of the 'Big Three,' though there is something different about Alcaraz -- something not seen since the exploits of his compatriot Nadal.
        Like Nadal, Alcaraz entered the top 10 for the first time after winning the Barcelona Open as an 18-year-old. He's also the youngest man since Nadal to enter the top 10 and win an ATP 1000 title.
        "All of these greatest of all time players ... were great already as teenagers or showing flashes of being great as teenagers," tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg told CNN Sport.

          Changing the goalposts

          After he won the Miami Open in April, Alcaraz outlined his relatively modest goals for 2022 to CNN's Don Riddell -- breaking into the top 10 of the world rankings and reaching the quarterfinals of a grand slam.
          Just three weeks later, Alcaraz entered the top 10 after he took victory at the Barcelona Open.
          Two weeks after Barcelona, Alcaraz won his fourth title of 2022 at the Madrid Open, defeating Nadal and Djokovic on his way to the final.
          So far this year, he has amassed a remarkable 90% win rate -- a percentage that increases to 94% on clay.
          Following these victories and his meteoric rise to the very top of the sport, Alcaraz reoriented his goals for the year.
          "I would say that I am one of the favorite players to win Roland Garros," Alcaraz told CNN.
          "There are a lot of great players -- Rafa, Djokovic, the best players in the world are going to play there, but I think I'm ready to do a good result in Roland Garros."
          Alcaraz won the Madrid Open earlier this month.
          If Alcaraz is to win his first grand slam at Roland Garros, he will have to do it the hard way as the 19-year-old is in the same half of