Carlos Alcaraz has brought a breath of fresh air to the men’s circuit. The 19-year-old Spaniard left everyone speechless last year, winning the US Open to everyone’s amazement and also winning two Masters 1000 (Miami and Madrid).
His triumph in New York allowed him to become the youngest number 1 in the history of men’s tennis, which speaks volumes about the potential of this boy. The last few months have not been easy for the Murciano, who is forced to deal with a couple of injuries (abdominal tear and leg injury).
After missing the 2023 Australian Open and losing first position to Novak Djokovic, ‘Carlitos’ returned to Buenos Aires last week. While not expressing the best tennis of him, the Iberian won his seventh career title by beating the number 2 seed Cameron Norrie in the final.
During an interview with ‘La Nacion’, Antonio Cascales – former coach of Juan Carlos Ferrero – recalled his first meeting with Alcaraz and reflected on his rise. While Alcaraz will have the opportunity to regain the No. 1 ranking later this month, the Serbian great will retain his top spot for now
Alcaraz won in Baires
“I’m relatively surprised.
Hewitt won his first tournament at 16. Safin, Sampras, Agassi, Borg, Becker… every decade has had great established players and youngsters aged 18 or 19 who came to upset the established players. But in the last 15 or 18 years it had practically not happened.
Now, then, with Carlos Alcaraz… Everyone is surprised by the speed, but not me too much. When a 16-year-old boy starts to win matches in Challengers constantly and starts to go up very quickly without stopping… I even think that the pandemic stopped him a bit, because in March 2020, when he won his first ATP match, then he went on to Indian Wells because he had a wild card there, he had also been invited to Miami, Barcelona, Estoril… But the circuit stopped and he couldn’t play all that: he lost everything.
If he had had that experience it would have been a significant gain. I think that at that moment he already had the mentality to fight. It was the following year, in 2021, when he achieved it. And in 2022 it has been the total explosion.” If Alcaraz wins the Rio Open, he would bag 500 points and be tied on 6,980 ranking points with the top-ranked Serb, who will drop 90 points this week from last year’s run to the Dubai Open quarterfinals.