After his outstanding 2022 season, Alcaraz managed to take the next step towards becoming a tennis icon.
It can be described as presumptuous to associate such attributes with a 19-year-old, but that is exactly Alcaraz’ goal.
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“It may sound crazy, but I want to be like the ‘Big 3’. For me, the big challenge is to be among the best in history,” Alcaraz made no secret of his dreams in Miami.
Alcaraz inspires Spain: Clear goals, great image
The remarkable thing is that nobody would think of taking the top talent for a talker or accusing him of megalomania. Alcaraz’ appearance off the field is modest, but he formulates his goals razor-sharp.
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The tennis pro arrives in his home country with his style. “The public image couldn’t be better. He’s young, daring and respectful at the same time, always with a smile on his face. He likes to call himself Carlitos instead of Carlos because he says Carlos is very serious for a young man like him – which makes him very likeable,” explained the tennis expert Enrique Sánchez von Eurosport in Madrid.
In addition, Alcaraz is the “flagship” of his native region of Murcia in southeastern Spain. He also masters the game with social media.
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Only one thing bothers the young athlete a little: the comparison with Rafael Nadal. “Both have said that they don’t want and don’t like it. But they also know that the comparison is inevitable,” emphasizes Sánchez.
In terms of “energy and power” it is justified to mention both in the same breath. “This only applies to a limited extent to the style of play, because you have to say that Carlos sometimes acts more like Djokovic or Federer,” explains the tennis expert. In general, Alcaraz and Nadal naturally share enormous success at a very young age.
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That’s when he realized that tennis again had an exceptional talent of the caliber of Nadal, Federer or Djokovic, says Wilander in the Eurosport interview.
“After ‘destroying’ Daniil Medvedev in the Indian Wells final, I am 100 per cent sure that Carlos is much more than ‘just’ number one,” said the Swede. “He has no problems with 90 percent of his competitors. This is a situation that the ‘Big 3’ have had for over 20 years.”
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It was striking how clever Alcaraz behaved strategically. The “selection of his shots” is remarkable, praises Wilander and goes a giant step further. “When Carlos dictates a rally, he has more options than any other game I’ve seen – with the exception of Roger Federer.”
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In addition, Alcaraz seems extremely strong mentally. The examples of Dominic Thiem and Juan Martín del Potro show how difficult it can be to stay on course after a Grand Slam title. After their greatest successes, both had problems at various levels and could no longer reach their best level.
Alcaraz, on the other hand, has almost gotten stronger and has dealt with difficulties very well even after the comeback in Buenos Aires.
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Alcaraz wants to be the youngest Sunshine Double Champion
But the next big goal is already within reach. Alcaraz is in the quarterfinals in Miami and is aiming for the so-called “Sunshine Double”, winning the Masters from Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back. A feat that seven players on the ATP Tour have managed so far. Most recently, it was Roger Federer in 2017 and Novak Djokovic in 2016 who managed the double strike.
If Alcaraz follows suit, he would be the youngest player in history to wear the Sunshine Double. “I want to be part of this closed circle,” the Spaniard clarified. A statement that can confidently be transferred to all other elite circles that tennis has to offer.
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