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, has made history in these first months of 2022. Juan Carlos Ferrero's protégé scored two Masters 1000 (Miami and Madrid) and two ATP 500 (Rio and Barcelona), to the point of being pointed out as the future dominator of men's tennis.
The 19-year-old Murcian wowed the Madrid public, consecutively beating his idol Rafael Nadal, ATP number 1 Novak Djokovic, and defending champion Alexander Zverev. 'Carlitos' has decided to skip the BNL Internationals in Italy to recharge his batteries ahead of Roland Garros, where he will be one of the first favorites.
The Iberian's main rivals in Paris will be Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Guest on the latest edition of the 'Court-Side with Beilinson Tennis' podcast, the well-known American journalist, Steve Flink, analyzed Alcaraz's prospects in detail.
"I can't see how he doesn't finish in the top 5, but I feel like he will end the year at No.1," Flink said. "Look what he's done already. He has Miami on the bench. He has Barcelona on the bench. Honestly, I think he is going to finish the year as world number 1 because I think he is going to play more than Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic.
Novak is at a real disadvantage having missed out on Australia and trying to get to the top of his game," Flink said. "He's getting close now, but he's lost a lot of time and it's cost him a lot.
Djokovic is ready for the French Open
In an interview with Marca, former World No.
1 Mats Wilander said Novak Djokovic was the favorite for Roland Garros given the form he showed in Rome. "For many reasons I have to say Novak (Djokovic). First because he has just won Rome and that will give him confidence; then because I think he has within him a feeling of revenge after everything that has happened to him in recent months...
Not being able to play the Australian Open. He is the defender of the crown," he said. According to Mats Wilander, the World No. 1 has shaken off any fitness concerns he had over the last few weeks. "He has proven to himself that he can return to playing long matches despite the defeat to Alcaraz in Madrid.
In Monte Carlo he gave a bad impression at the end of his match with Davidovich, he looked tired. Now he's better and he appears to be. He is the favorite in Paris," the Swede said.