Carlos Alcaraz won the second Masters 1000 of his career in Madrid and reached sixth position in the ATP ranking at the age of 19. The young and talented Spaniard is now one of the best tennis players on the circuit and two champions of the stature of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have already expressed words of great admiration towards him on several occasions.
"Carlos like the big 3? Normally I don't like comparisons. I think each one has their own characteristics and is special. Without a doubt, he is a special player. He has already broken many records despite his age, winning two Masters 1000 and a couple of 500 this year," Djokovic said.
"He right now he is the best player in the world, without a doubt, considering his results. The way he handled the pressure during our match, where he kept his composure until the end, was impressive." Nadal, for his part, explained: "It's not a big surprise for me.
I'm happy for him. Everyone is aware of the confidence he has right now and the level he can reach. I am happy because we have had a fantastic player in our country for a long time. It's always special to win at home, so it was probably a very special week for him."
In an exclusive interview with the newspaper La Nación, Alcaraz chose the best shots of the Big 3 and revealed what aspects of his game he would like to own. "From Nadal I would choose the spirit of struggle and sacrifice, the work ethic of him.
He doesn't give up any point and always trains hard," Alcaraz began. "Roger Federer would be robbed of the elegance and variety of shots that he can use during matches; while Djokovic's elasticity and physical condition"
Djokovic is testing his luck on the clay courts
There are many tournaments on the ATP circuit where Novak Djokovic has tasted success time and again. "It is one of the biggest tournaments in the world, no doubt. Of course, every time I get the chance to fight for a trophy there, it is always a thrill.
I always had a lot of support in Rome. Center Court - one of the most stunning centre courts in the tennis world," he added. "That kind of surface where it's unpredictable. It's that kind of surface where if you drop your serve, it's not that big a deal as dropping your serve on a fast hard court."
He had a tough draw from the get-go and shed some light on the kind of challenges he faced right from the start of the tournament on the most demanding surface in tennis. "Clay is kind of a surface in which you have to earn every single point and every single victory," he explained.
"I had three or four three-set matches in the entire tournament. I remember the one against Kohlschreiber - claycourt specialist and a lot of top spins. Just grinding my way through those matches, very physical battles."