Tennis analyst Paul Annacone is absolutely impressed by Carlos Alcaraz as he has stated that the game hasn't seen such a meteroic rise since Rafael Nadal. Just like Nadal, Alcaraz became a Masters champion and broke into the top-18 at the age of 18.
Alcaraz, who turned 19 last week, is now determined to lift his maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open. "It's amazing," Annacone said on a podcast hosted by Tennis Channel, per Sportskeeda. "We haven't seen a meteoric rise like this since Rafa, in so long, and we weren't sure if we'd see it again.
But this kid is something special and he's done such an amazing job. Beating Rafa and Novak back-to-back, that just doesn't happen. He's comfortable."
Annacone on Alcaraz's French Open chances
Alcaraz is coming off Masters wins in Miami and Madrid.
Alcaraz has stated several times in recent weeks that he feels mentally and physically ready to win a Grand Slam. "Can he do it in 3-out-of-5 sets in seven matches?" Annacone asked. "Talent-wise and skill-wise - absolutely.
But for a teenager who hasn't been through that environment before, it could be very challenging. Over two weeks at a Major, I think it's a different kind of landscape for him to process. But I don't see any reason why with that level of skill he can't do it."
En route to winning Madrid, Alcaraz defeated Nadal. Alcaraz might have to do something similar at the French Open in order to win his first Grand Slam. "I think the hardest thing in sports is beating Rafa Nadal in 3 out of 5 sets on clay," Annacone noted.
"I still think that's the most difficult thing to do...But when you see what Carlos Alcaraz can do and in the different ways that he can hurt you, there's no reason that he can't be successful even at Roland Garros already."