Carlos Alcaraz with the Wimbledon trophy (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez)
Carlos Alcaraz hurries his last days without competition. It’s time for the hard court, to which the world number one will jump with the aim of trying to defend his title at the US Open, the first Grand Slam that he won as a tennis player. Before looking for victory in New York from the end of August, the Spaniard will go through Toronto and Cincinnati. In the first of these Masters 1000, which will begin to be played next Monday or Tuesday, he will not face Novak Djokovic, who is absent on Canadian soil. However, other great players like Daniil Medvedev (in his case, in a hypothetical final), Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Holger Rune, Andrey Rublev and Jannik Sinner will be in this tournament.
The victory of the Murcian at Wimbledon, along with his great 2023, has made him the most recurring topic of conversation in racket sports in recent times. The laudatory statements towards him do not stop happening, since the precocity with which he has managed to reach the tennis elite is worthy of admiration. The last to speak very positively about Alcaraz was the Italian tennis player Paolo Bertolucci.
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The one who became number 12 on the ATP in 1973 and Davis Cup champion with his country in 1976 has not hesitated to place the new sensation on the men’s circuit on a pedestal. “He is the great heir to the Big Three because there was no one in his twenties who played tennis like that. He is complete. He is great on any surface. Let’s say that he is the prototype of the tennis player of the future ”, he has acknowledged in an interview with Jot Down.
Alcaraz and Nadal in 2022 (REUTERS/Juan Medina)
“Now, it is not known where he will arrive because that is where intangibles such as physicality, the competition he may have or the hunger for victory come into play. Everything seems to indicate that he will continue writing pages and pages of tennis successes because yes, he has things from the big three. It is a complete phenomenon. He is physically and technically complete. I’ve seen a lot of tennis, and I didn’t see anyone like that at twenty years old. He does everything: he serves well, he dominates the rest of the forehand, he has a great backhand, he goes up to the net and liquidates with a good smash, he makes great drop shots… All very fast. In addition, it is resistant”, adds Bertolucci.
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Of course, he considers that distances must be marked between Rafa Nadal and Alcaraz: “Nadal suffers on the field. He is one of a kind, but he suffers. Federer was crystal clear technique, but he wasn’t smiling. Alcaraz has fun. He reminds me, in football, of Ronaldinho. In ten years I don’t see anyone who overshadows him”. The same thing happens when linking him with Djokovic: “The Serbian will retire in one or two years, I imagine. If Alcaraz’s physique respects him, he will be at the top for a decade ”.
Bertolucci also talks about Alcaraz when mentioning the great hope of Italian tennis, Jannik Sinner. “Obviously it can’t be Alcaraz for a matter of physical structure, but if he continues working and improves his physique, power, if he has an orderly life as a couple…”, he considers.
Alcaraz has completed 31 weeks this week at the head of the ATP ranking. He still has 15 legends ahead of him when it comes to tenure at the top of the standings: longest to shortest time as leader, Djokovic, Federer, Sampras, Lendl, Connors, Nadal, McEnroe, Borg, Agassi, Hewitt , Edberg, Courier, Kuerten, Murray and Nastase.
Andy Murray en Washington (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
It is these last two myths that are closest to surpassing that of El Palmar. In the case of Nastase, it is 40 weeks that he enjoyed the status of the best player in the world. In Murray’s, we are talking about 41. Right now, Alcaraz is in a position to break the records of both the Romanian and the British. He would also do it, based on the fact that he is the only one who has managed to reach the tennis peak when he has just reached 20.
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