It is not the new Rafa Nadal. Let’s run away from those categorizations. Carlos Alcaraz is Carlos Alcaraz and as such he has managed to become the first tennis player born in 2003 to win an ATP circuit game. He did it in Rio de Janeiro, a tournament he agreed to with an invitation. His victim was not a stranger precisely. Albert Ramos, number 41 in the world, witnessed the takeoff of the promise of Spanish tennis. Alcaraz beat him 7-6 (2), 4-6 and 7-6 (2) in three hours and 36 minutes.
It was his first official painting and he signed the invitation making history. Next Monday, at least, he will appear in 313th place in the ranking, being the youngest player in the top 800 in the world, well above, for example, the junior Wimbledon champion this year, Shintaro Mochizuki (803).
Alcaraz, 16, is the son of a tennis player. His father, also called Carlos Alcaraz, became a children’s runner-up in Spain, so the hobby comes from family. Professionally, he is growing by Juan Carlos Ferrero, who has been following him closely for years. In the past Count of Godó, Ferrero did not lose attention from the stands of the first steps of Alcaraz in the tournament, where he lost in the first round of the previous phase.
The Murcia, yes, has led a cautious evolution. He has not launched into the big tournaments without weighing it carefully. In 2019 he alternated the presence in Challenger tournaments (of lower category than the ATP) with Futures (those of lower category). At the beginning of this 2020, although his level ventured directly into the Challenger, the young Alcaraz decided to devote himself to the Futures and achieve a spectacular start to the season.
In Manacor he took two tournaments in a row, in total ten games, before making the jump to Antalya (Turkey), where he reached the final, demonstrating his ability to adapt to different surfaces. In Manacor he won in cement and in Turkey he took four matches on clay.
His style defines himself. «I like to play very aggressively, with many winning shots. My style is, more or less, like Roger Federer’s. Going to the network, with left-overs, ”Alcaraz told the ATP.
His coach, Ferrero, also puts high levels. «He has the level, the speed, he is improving physically every day. I think it can be one of the best, ”says the one that was number one in the world.
Alcaraz already ranks as the earliest of that generation called to replace in Spain Nadal, David Ferrer, Feliciano López, Fernando Verdasco … He, Nicola Khun (19 years, 288 of the world, Alejandro Davidovich (20 years, 90 of the world) and Carlos Valero (18, 572 of the world) are the highest hopes of men’s tennis in the coming years.
His next challenge will be the Argentine Federico Coria. A match that will go without pressure, since the story is already made. Now he faces the challenge of giving continuity and enduring all the pressure that comparisons with Rafa Nadal will entail. But he is Carlos Alcaraz.