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Carlos Alcaraz: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal rocked the Spanish prodigy to win the Grand Slam | Tennis News



Raz Mirza

Interviews, comments and analyzes @RazMirza

How many Grand Slams will Carlos Alcaraz end up winning? More than Novak Djokovic? More than Roger Federer? More than Rafael Nadal? The world No. 6 has already won two Masters 1000 crowns in Miami and Madrid as well as titles in Umag, Rio and Barcelona; he is destined for greatness

Last update: 21/05/22 22:42

Carlos Alcaraz describes himself as a

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Carlos Alcaraz describes himself as a ‘different player and a different person’ from when he appeared at Roland Garros last year

Carlos Alcaraz describes himself as a ‘different player and a different person’ from when he appeared at Roland Garros last year

Considered the natural successor to ‘king of clay’ Rafael Nadal, 19-year-old prodigy Carlos Alcaraz is on his way to becoming the next big star in men’s tennis. How good is it?

With every shot in the book and a mentality to match, here is a player with the world of tennis already at his feet and looking set to be a fixture in the sport for years to come.

He has already won four titles in 2022, including the Miami and Madrid Masters, where he beat the golden duo of Nadal and Novak Djokovic before facing Alexander Zverev in successive matches.

Hailing from the southern city of Murcia, Alcaraz turned professional in 2018 and, under the tutelage of former world number 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, quickly announced himself as a serious talent.

Alcaraz already has a full game, with powerful groundstrokes and the best cushioning around, but the most striking thing about a player his age is his maturity on and off the court.

His best Grand Slam performance to date came at the US Open last year, when he reached the quarter-finals, but he is being touted as Nadal and Djokovic’s most likely challenger for the Mousquetaires Cup. .

Alcaraz does not hide his ambition, saying in an interview with Marca: “My objective until the end of the year is to try to win one of the three remaining Grand Slam tournaments. It is a great motivation for me and I will fight for it.”

Nadal may not be ready to pass the torch just yet but he has prepared for the future of Spanish tennis and has put an arm around Alcaraz not only to cheer him on but also to protect him from the media frenzy.

“If he is able to win 25 Grand Slams, it will be amazing for him and for our country, and I will be happy for him. But let him enjoy his personal career,” Nadal warned. “Don’t put any extra pressure on him.”

Alcaraz is “the history of men’s tennis”

World number 1 Djokovic sees Nadal and Alcaraz as the main threats to his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam crown.

“We talk about favorites for Roland Garros and on clay, you know that Nadal must always be on top, because of his records especially in this tournament,” said Djokovic, playing a Grand Slam for the first time since his exile from the Australian Open.

“And then you have Alcaraz, he’s obviously the history of men’s tennis over the last four or five months with a big reason.

“He’s made tremendous progress in the rankings and the results he’s achieved are phenomenal for someone his age. He’s really taken a leap forward in the last five or six months.”

The young Spaniard’s power left tennis commentator Barry Millns in awe

Carlos Alcaraz (left) and Juan Carlos Ferrero are a heavenly couple

Carlos Alcaraz (left) and Juan Carlos Ferrero are a heavenly couple

Millns, who saw Alcaraz win the Next Gen ATP Finals in Italy last year, believes the teenager is going to be “absolutely huge” in men’s tennis.

“I think he’s fantastic,” Millns said. sky sports. “I had the chance to see him in Milan and what he managed to accomplish on the Tour this year – winning Barcelona and getting into the Top 10, which he reached on the same date and at the same age as Nadal when he broke into the Top Ten.

“We’ve seen how long Rafa has been there and it wouldn’t surprise me if Alcaraz matches that eventually.”

Carlos Alcaraz: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal rocked the Spanish prodigy to win the Grand Slam | Tennis News

“I will go with Alcaraz to go to the final. He already has such ambition and confidence in his game and if he maintains his fitness and his health he will win these big prizes. Nadal won Roland Garros at 19 years, why can ‘la?”

Commentator Barry Millns on Alcaraz’s hopes at Roland Garros

His trainer Ferrero joked that he looked like Dragon Ball franchise character Son Goku after the Spaniard exceeded his expectations in 2021.

After working alongside psychologist Isabel Balaguer, the focus shifted to the mental side of his game, with his fitness and tennis progressing much earlier than expected.

“He’s just an explosive and dynamic player who has a good attitude with a great team behind him,” continued Millns.

“You couldn’t ask for a better setup than this young lad. What he shows is incredible maturity from someone who is still so young in his teens and able to come and play and beat the best.

“What he did in Madrid beating Nadal and Djokovic on a huge stage in front of his people was astounding.

“What impressed me was his power. Nadal and Djokovic – the great players that they are – were sometimes overpowered on the pitch. They were pushed back so deep and he has this incredible cushioning that is such a big part of of the combination.

“I think he’s got it all. He’s got a great personality and he’s going to be absolutely huge. He’s already a star in the game and it feels like he’s already potentially replacing the likes of (Alexander) Zverev and (Stefanos) Tsitsipas.”

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