The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who challenged the Emperor. No, let's say that reality is very different from Ridley Scott's blockbuster with Russel Crowe, but the question everyone is asking is: who is Salvatore Caruso, the player who challenged Djokovic at the French Open? Born in Avola, Italy, the 26-year-old Salvatore is an excellent tennis player in the Challenger and ITF tournaments.
But he had never come to the forefront of the crowd in an ATP event. He chose to do it in one of the most important tournaments of the season, perhaps the most loved by the Italian people, after Wimbledon and Rome. We are obviously talking about Roland Garros, where Caruso deservedly managed to reach the third round of the Parisian Slam, where he was defeated without too many problems by the world no.
1. Djokovic himself congratulated an opponent who, in his career, only had the 2018 Australian Open first round as his best result at a Major. It can be said that step-by-step, Caruso is getting improvements, both from the point of performances and from the point of view of results.
He is a perfect tennis player for clay courts, a surface on which he has won all the tournaments of his career. Not very flashy but very practical and solid (quality to be shown to any Next Gen players), he can hardly aspire to great goals, but surely he will have chances to emulate this result, maybe even to improve it.
Should he follow the example of his countryman Paolo Lorenzi, he could also aspire to a qualitative leap. In this season, his best result came in the Phoenix Challenger, Arizona, where he reached the semifinals, beating David Goffin in the quarterfinals.
He did not qualify for the 2019 Australian Open, while in the ATP Tour his best result is precisely that of Paris, in 2019, in addition to the first round in Estoril, after qualifying. Meanwhile, in Bois de Boulogne he has taken great satisfaction, we will see if in the future he will succeed in doing better.