The great revelation of this start of the season responds to the name of Carlos Alcaraz. The very young Spaniard, who had already shown flashes of enormous talent last year, literally blew the bank in these first months of 2022.
Juan Carlos Ferrero's protege put two Masters 1000s (Miami and Madrid) and two ATP 500 (Rio and Barcelona), so much so that he was designated as the future ruler of men's tennis. The 19-year-old from Murcia drove the Madrid crowd crazy, beating in sequence his idol Rafael Nadal, number 1 ATP Novak Djokovic and defending champion Alexander Zverev.
'Carlitos' has decided to skip the BNL Internationals of Italy to recharge his batteries in view of Roland Garros, where he will be one of the very first favorites. The main opponents of the Iberian in Paris will be Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Guest in the latest edition of the 'Court-Side with Beilinson Tennis' podcast, the well-known American journalist Steve Flink analyzed in detail the prospects of Alcaraz.
Steve Flink opens up on Alcaraz
"I can't see how he doesn't finish top 5 but I feel he will end the year at No.
1," Flink said. "You look at what he has done already. He's got Miami in the bank. He's got Barcelona in the bank. I honestly believe that he is going to complete the year as the No. 1 player in the world because I think he is going to play more than Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic.
Novak is at a real disadvantage having missed Australia and just trying to get to the very top of his game," Flink said. "He is closing in on it now but he missed a lot of time and that was very costly for him. Rafa, I think, is going to be selective in where he goes and where he plays.
He is going to conceivably do very well right until the end of the clay court season." During the post-match interview after his quarterfinal victory, the 20-times Grand Slam champion lauded the efforts of Felix. Djokovic said, “He has lethal serve honestly.
One thing is to practice and the other thing is to play against somebody in an official match. He’s hitting spots in the box incredibly well. It was not easy for me at all to return. He’s also returning well, moving well”.
It was the first meeting between Djokovic and Felix on the ATP tour. Felix was in fine form this season, putting on a consistent show across tournaments. Additionally, he also won the ATP Cup and the ATP 500 Rotterdam title.