Alcaraz honors Federer, Nadal and Djokovic: "They are geniuses"

The Spaniard revealed that his ambition is to reach the Big 3

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Alcaraz honors Federer, Nadal and Djokovic: "They are geniuses"
© Tim Goode / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Nowadays comparisons abound and it was inevitable that he would be promptly compared to the Big 3. Carlos Alcaraz himself expressed his point of view with continuous comparisons with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

In an interview for the official ATP website, Carlitos honored the Big 3, underlining how they have had the ability and strength to express a very high level of play for many years.

"I've seen some videos, but we're talking about highlights; I can't compare myself to what they were like at my age. In the end, as I've always said, it doesn't matter what I've won at this age. I want to continue my career, I want to grow and get to where Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal arrived: the greatest, the geniuses, who continued to improve until they were 37-38 years old. Staying at the top for 16 or 17 years, fighting for big titles season after season, dealing with pressure, injuries and everything else: this is extraordinary and few can do it. I believe that mental strength and my head may allow me to enter into this conversation in the future. My Roland Garros? I saw videos of when I was little and played under the Eiffel Tower. I'm living a dream. Roland Garros is a special tournament for me, because it is the event I always followed as a child," he explained.

Carlos Alcaraz, Roland Garros 2024
Carlos Alcaraz, Roland Garros 2024© Tim Goode / Stringer - Getty Images Sport
 

Alcaraz then revealed what he would rather win this year between Wimbledon and the gold medal at the Olympics.

"The Olympic Games are held every four years and are special: you don't just play for yourself, but for your country and you represent every Spaniard. I think this year I would choose the gold medal and not Wimbledon," he explained.

"Returning to the Olympics soon as a champion in Paris will be special, I will have special memories and I won't hide it. I think it will be a very beautiful tournament, my first Olympics immediately after winning my first Roland Garros. I hope to do well, I want to win gold and at the same time play doubles together with Rafael Nadal, I won't believe it until I see it with my own eyes," he told in another interview.

The words spoken by John McEnroe were enough to rekindle a debate that began already at the end of 2022, when Alcaraz became the youngest number 1 in the history of tennis thanks to the success achieved at the US Open.

"For me Carlos Alcaraz is better than Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at 21. The Big 3 weren't as strong at his age. We're talking about a unique tennis player," told the American legend.

Carlos Alcaraz, Roland Garros 2024
Carlos Alcaraz, Roland Garros 2024© Getty Images Sport
 

The Spaniard is forging ahead and has won the third Slam of his career at Roland Garros, signing another incredible record: in fact, no one has won at least one Major on all playing surfaces before turning 22. At the press conference after the Parisian success, Alcaraz talked about his growth.

"There were moments in which I had to make difficult decisions, give up the tournament to those I cared about, I had to face various uncertainties but I have to thank my team who helped me and who I consider like a family. I don't play alone, there is my family. In the third set I was ahead 5-2 but I didn't feel superior to him, I couldn't find a way to put him in difficulty, I had the feeling that he could win the games without problems and in the end he really came back. In the fourth set fortunately he started in a more relaxed way and starting from 4-0 helped me manage, then in the fifth set I simply gave everything, I did what warriors do and I consider myself one," he analyzed.

Carlos Alcaraz, Roland Garros 2024
Carlos Alcaraz, Roland Garros 2024© Tim Goode / Stringer - Getty Images Sport
 

Carlitos then revealed the great emotion of having won the titles he dreamed of as a child, at the same press conference:

"That child would be proud of the fact that he won this tournament at such a young age, I worked a lot and made many sacrifices to get there here, I'm really happy. I watched these tournaments on TV and told myself that one day I would win them, now I have. Achieving these goals is very nice for me, my family and everyone around me, I'm fulfilling my dreams," he said.

Alcaraz will get a tattoo with the Eiffel Tower and the date of his victory at the first Roland Garros: "How will my parents take this? Well, they don't care and I've already told them it will be the first of many. For a boy from Murcia like me it is a pride to make the history of this sport, I am happy for myself, my family and all my people. From this tournament I learned the lesson that tennis requires great mental strength. You may not play very well, but it takes great mental strength, especially in decisive moments. If you are weak in the head, even if you play your best tennis, you will not win in the end. To win a Slam you need great mental strength, I thought a lot about this and after this tournament I came to this conclusion," analyzed the young Spanish talent.

Alcaraz
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