Who is the Chinese rising star who aspires to become stronger than Alcaraz?

The 19-year-old Shang Juncheng talked about his aspirations and playing style

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Who is the Chinese rising star who aspires to become stronger than Alcaraz?
© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

"At the moment I have a clear direction: I want to be a very aggressive player, but at the moment I'm not as strong as I would like.

Carlos Alcaraz is a model for everyone, just like Jannik Sinner, they are two of the young people who are making the best tennis. I don't want to copy them, but I want to learn from them, as happened to me with Carlos in Australia."

Shang Juncheng, 19 year old Chinese tennis player born in 2005 and current ATP No.115, has very clear ideas about his future. He sees Alcaraz and Sinner as examples to follow for what they are doing and what they are achieving, but not for their playing styles or their behaviors.

Shang Juncheng and Carlos Alcaraz
Shang Juncheng and Carlos Alcaraz© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

The young Chinese's goal is to move up the ATP rankings quickly. Shang was interviewed exclusively by Spanish website puntodebreak.com this week when he was at the ATP Challenger in Madrid. Shang was referring to the third round match of the Australian Open against the Spanish player, against whom he then had to withdraw.

"When I was in front of him I realized how he was capable of leaving you stuck so many times, but then there were other points where he allowed you to play. All these things are what I have to learn as a tennis player. My favorite player is Novak Djokovic, I can find some similarities with him, I hope to get closer to his game in the future," he explained.

Shang praises Alcaraz, Sinner and Rune

Talking about Alcaraz, Sinner and Rune, the young Shang explained: "I don't have a very close relationship with them, although I hope to get to know them a little more in the future, train with them several times.

With Jannik, for example, I never had this opportunity, but with Holger we trained a few times and he is a fascinating guy on and off the pitch. I watch some of his games and he's super fun and I really admire him. Carlos, maybe one of the nicest people in the world, playing with him is incredible," he told.

Shang Juncheng
Shang Juncheng© Phil Walter / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

Shang reached the final at the US Open Junior in 2021 and the No. 1 position in the ITF under-18 rankings in the same year. Among professionals he won the 2022 Lexington Challenger and 4 ITF World Tennis Tour Futures.

Alcaraz Shang Juncheng
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