Carlos Alcaraz's career and life have undergone a radical change in the past nine months. He will soon turn 19, yet the rising star from El Palmar is proving to be, tennis-speaking, much more mature than his age, even very precocious.
In less than a year, the Spaniard has already put three trophies on the board, two of which in just over a month (Rio de Janeiro and Miami) of the highest level. And, given the results, the latter seems destined to rise further.
"It's still 60%," his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero told Teledeporte. Level that inevitably leads fans and professionals to make comparisons, ending up by 'bothering' players of the caliber of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The former Spanish tennis player and number 1 in the world, who follows Alcaraz in his rise, responded on the rather widespread opinion that Carlitos possesses the determination of Nadal, the mentality of Djokovic, with the talent of Federer.
“I think Carlos is Carlos and he's grateful that everyone sees so many good things in him, but he has to make his way. It is true that he has to look at the best players in history, try to take a little bit of each and try to be the best he can be.
People see a lot of comparisons, see a lot of good things in him, he is to be appreciated, but we try to focus as much as possible on the things he needs to improve and that's where we are." For some traits, Carlos Alcaraz has also been repeatedly compared to the legend Rafael Nadal, who has always been his idol.
Davidovich Fokina on Rafa Nadal
Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas have combined to win five of the last six Monte-Carlo Masters titles. They are also the only players to win back-to-back titles at the event since 2003. "It's very different.
It's different because, in the end, Rafael Nadal is a lefty and, you know, when we play against him we always play the backhand. [That's why] it is tough to play against Rafa," he said. "Stefanos has a one-handed backhand.
But it is not easier to play [against Tsitsipas] than Rafa either. It's a different ball. Physically, Rafa, he's a beast." The World No. 27 confirmed that he will be playing in Spain despite the hectic schedule, adding that he did not want to miss out on the few tournaments he gets to play in front of his friends and family.
"Oh, for sure I will play Barcelona. We have only two or three tournaments in Spain. So I have to play, because, you know, [it's] in front of my friends, in front of all my people," he said. "It's like I will go with more confidence and with a lot more emotions than here."