'Carlos Alcaraz showed great mental strength', says former star

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'Carlos Alcaraz showed great mental strength', says former star

It's time to take stock. The 2022 season has also officially closed on the men's senior circuit, after the dispute of the Nitto ATP Finals and the final stages of the Davis Cup in Malaga. Spain managed to take the first two places in the world rankings at the end of the year, with Carlos Alcaraz (with a score of less than 7000 points, also due to the non-awarding of points during the Wimbledon Grand Slam) ahead of the compatriot champion Rafael Nadal.

To complete the podium Casper Ruud, in front of the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. Meanwhile, the ATP tour has established the first nomination lists to award the end-of-season awards to the tennis players who have most distinguished themselves in the last 12 months.

Many surprises but also those excluded from these rankings. "Comeback player of the year": the player who overcame a serious injury reaffirming himself as one of the best players in the ATP. Are Borna Coric, the Austrian former winner of the US Open Dominic Thiem, the Swiss Stan Wawrinka and Wu Yibing to aspire to the prize.

"Most improved player of the year": the player who has achieved a significant best ranking by the end of the year and who has demonstrated an ever-improving level of performance throughout the year. Chosen Carlos Alcaraz, Maxime Cressy, Jack Draper and Holger Rune.

"Newcomer of the year": The Next Gen player who cracked the top 100 for the first time in 2022 and made the biggest impact this season. Briton Jack Draper, Jiri Lehecka, Ben Shelton, Chun-Hsin Tseng and Holger Rune will compete.

"Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award": the player who, throughout the year, behaved with the highest level of professionalism and integrity, who competed against his teammates with the utmost spirit of fairness and who promoted the game through his activities off the pitch.

Lapentti praises Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz still has a long way to go before he can be considered a real challenger to the Grand Slam record of the Big 3. "The big question is will he (Carlos Alcaraz) be able to win as many Grand Slams as these three guys (Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic)? It's going to be all about his health," Nicolas Lapentti said.

"Is he going to be able to stay healthy the next 15-18 years? We never know. Will he be able to stay strong mentally for the next 15 years? It's crazy, but we'll see. We'll have to talk again in 10 years and see how he's going," he added.

"Alcaraz has got everything, definitely. To be 19 and to play at the level he's playing. It's mostly in the head to play under that pressure and to perform that well, that's awesome," the 46-year-old expressed.

Carlos Alcaraz