The official start of the Australian Open, the first prestigious Grand Slam of the 2023 season, is getting closer. While waiting for the official start of the tournament, scheduled in Melbourne, there is great expectation to know who will be the big favorites to compete for the title, currently held by Spanish champion Rafael Nadal.
The tournament will also possibly put the world number one on the line as Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz (currently at the top of the ATP world rankings) has resigned due to a nasty training injury, forcing him to take another break.
following a physical problem at the end of 2022, just before the Nitto ATP Finals. Former American tennis player John McEnroe commented on the tournament on the Eurosport microphones. The winner of seven Grand Slam titles, who only misses the Australian Open (in addition to Roland Garros), gave his opinion on what to expect from the 19-year-old phenomenon in this new year: "2023 will be a real test.
He is a good guy, with his tennis he attracts people like a magnet. The same thing did not happen to me when I was young. I enjoyed fighting to get to the top, I think they were the most fun years. When you're the best, obviously everyone is trying to beat you and you have to have a completely different mindset, not just with the players you play with.
Now a victory against Alcaraz is much more prestigious than a year ago, for anyone", explained the American. Then he stressed: "It's one thing to get there and another to stay at that level. That's what made Djokovic, Nadal and Federer unique: they improved each other and were able to keep doing it.
I think they've done better than anyone, better even than me and than all the players I've seen play", he added.
Shang Juncheng pays tribute to Alcaraz
Shang Juncheng stated that he looks up to and feels inspired by World No.
1 and US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz. "Yeah, I mean, after hearing this I think it's quite a big accomplishment. Looking up to Carlos, he's one of, I mean, he's the best player in the world right now. I mean, just watching him play on the court really inspires me, inspires the young, young players.
So to do this, it's very special for me," Juncheng said. "I think overall this whole week was different for me, playing my first slam, every day I was pretty nervous getting on the court. But at the same time, it's one of the best moments I have had so far in my career, so I'm like I said, I'm just very excited to be on the court, and everything is a learning process for me. I'm just super happy to be here," he added.