From Baby-Faced Prodigy to Winner, Carlos Alcaraz Sets Eyes on Grand Slam Glory PiPa News

From Baby-Faced Prodigy to Winner, Carlos Alcaraz Sets Eyes on Grand Slam Glory

In a year of memorable debuts for Carlos Alcaraz, the 19-year-old Spaniard has transformed himself from being just another fresh face on the men’s Tour to a real threat and a favorite for the French Open.

His meteoric rise in 12 months was marked by becoming the youngest ATP 500 champion in history at the age of 18 and the youngest player to defeat both Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the same claycourt event.

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Last year, Alcaraz celebrated his 18th birthday in Madrid with a match against his idol Nadal, but that dream quickly turned into a nightmare when the 13-time French Open champion saw him go 6-1, 6- in just 78 minutes. defeated by 2.

But this year, Alkaraz was better prepared and the change was evident as Kishor proved to be physically strong and displayed maturity beyond his years in pivotal moments.

He marked his 19th birthday in a whirlwind week in Madrid by beating three of the top five – Nadal, Djokovic and Alexander Zverev – for his second Masters title despite ankle pain.

“The last time I saw a player beat (David) Nalbandian in 2007, the top four players in three matches in a row. It certainly gives me a lot of confidence,” Alkaraz said.

However, the achievement seems like a sign of things to come rather than a blip on the men’s tour.

world number six

Ranked 120 a year ago, Alcaraz is now ranked sixth in the world, a notch below the French Open, a notch below Nadal – the first Grand Slam Nadal won in 2005 when he was 19 when he was a starving 19-year-old on tour.

Alcaraz began to dominate the clay before subduing the hardcourts during the US swing earlier this year when a drawn-out comparison between the two Spaniards was inevitable.

Nadal may not be ready to carry the torch just yet, but he is drawn to the future of Spanish tennis and put a hand around the Alcaraz not only to encourage him but also to protect him from the media frenzy Is.

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

The hegemony of the aging ‘Big Three’ in men’s tennis has been around longer than expected and the up-and-coming contenders have proved to be nothing more than one-time winners, but there is genuine belief that Alcaraz can change that.

“He’s definitely special… (at) Roland Garros, he’s definitely one of the main favourites, no doubt about it,” said Djokovic after defeating world number one Djokovic in Madrid. And he never reached the second week of the Grand Slam.”

Grand Slam champions Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem looked rusty on their return from injury, while Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have been unable to convert titles into Grand Slam successes, often burdened with expectations.

But Alkaraj is desperate to prove his mettle.

“People think I’m going to be one of the favorites to win Roland Garros, but I’ve always said I have a different point of view,” Alcarz said after his dream run in Madrid.

“I don’t have it as a stress, I have it as an inspiration.”

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