Carlos Alcaraz is currently on everyone’s tennis lips. The 19-year-old Spaniard was the absolute high-flyer of the spring. The 1.85 meter man was able to record two Masters successes. One on hard (Miami), the other on clay (Madrid).
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With his powerful and variable way of playing, he inspires the audience – and strives for more. The right-hander is one of the top favorites for the current Grand Slam tournament at the French Open. Rafael Nadal recently ennobled Alcaraz as “not normal guys”. The statement can actually be understood as praise, since according to Nadal it is not normal to be so good at this age.
On the way to his title at the Masters in Madrid, he also beat his youth idol Nadal. One of the greats who, together with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, shaped the tennis scene for the past 20 years. Successors to the “Big 3”, who have already won 61 Grand Slam titles, have been available for a long time.
In addition to Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitipas and Dominic Thiem, who is in a low form after a long phase of injury, Alexander Zverev is also one of the players in the “next generation”. The generation that wants to step out of the shadow of the great old masters. To finally get the Grand Slam titles yourself. To become number one in the world. To dominate tennis events for years.
At least Medvedev (US Open 2021) and Thiem (US Open 2020) have already had great success. Zverev is almost eagerly awaiting this success. And now, with Alcaraz, a player who is another whopping six years younger than the man from Hamburg is sending himself to overtake him in the favor of the potential title candidates.
In the Madrid final, Zverev had no chance against Alcaraz and praised the Spaniard: “There are no limits for Carlos. He’s currently the best in the world.” Within a few months, Alacaraz rose to sixth place in the world rankings. Like his great idol, Nadal grew up on the clay court. But his coach and former world-class player Juan Carlos Ferrero attached great importance to Alcaraz being able to excel on hard court.
“The tour is mainly played on hard court. Accordingly, it is important to master the game on this surface,” says Ferrero. At 19, Alcaraz is already a bit ahead of his compatriot Nadal. At this age, Nadal was more of a clay court specialist than an all-rounder.
Nevertheless, Alacaraz would celebrate its first Grand Slam title in a week. Namely on sand in Paris. Even if the stress of the best-of-five matches is different than in the Masters, many experts believe the Spaniard is capable of this coup.
In complete contrast to Zverev, whose generation could fall more and more behind through Alcaraz.
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