Carlos Alcaraz Is the New King of Tennis

Nadal, who won his first Grand Slam at the age of 19 at the 2005 French Open, is a player that people simply cannot contain when compared to Alcaraz. If the words “Spain” and “tennis” are placed close together in a sentence, all roads lead to Rafa. While the idea of ​​Nadal as Alcaraz’s Obi-Wan Kenobi is a great one, it doesn’t exist. Alcaraz doesn’t look to any of the Big Three for advice. Juan Carlos Ferrero, his coach, former world No. 1 and 2003 French Open men’s soccer champion, guides him through everything he needs to know. The country also has a healthy source of talented players beyond Rafa, some of whom Alcaraz idolized growing up, and some whom he still competes with now –– Pablo Andújar, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez , Pablo Carreno Busta.

Alcaraz lives and trains at the JC Ferrero Equelite Sports Academy in Alicante, Spain. The academy is about an hour’s drive from his house, so on his days off, he goes to see his family, where he’s treated like the teenager he still is. “When we were at home, my parents told me what I had to do. You know –– ‘Do this, do that,’ is just a normal thing for parents and children. I normal.” He shrugged, “I’m just a normal guy.” Immediately after his win over Ruud, Alcaraz rushed into the stands and climbed quickly to the group in his box. a crowd, before he hugged each one, one by one.

There’s something transcendent, already, about the way Alcaraz moves on the field and the way he plays the game. His real-time strategy, his execution, his net game, his drop shots. It was shocking. This is not exaggeration. He has been steadily climbing up the rankings since he had his first ATP tour in February 2020, when he was 16 years old.

There were other players who were equally fast, for example Alex de Minaur of Australia, and there were others who won –– Medvedev, Nick Kyrgios. But for them, at least for the casual observer, there are things to do –– the usual tennis things like attitude, style of play, consistency. Alcaraz, now, plays as a magician, and a serial killer.

In the fourth round of the tournament, he defeated 2014 champion Marin Čilić in the first of three consecutive five-set matches en route to the final. Next up was the quarter-final against young Italian shooter Jannik Sinner, which was five innings, five o’clock, and well past everyone’s bedtime. Alcaraz won the first set and in the 12th set of the second he made a forehand to the back that was absurd to the point of being obscene. The hit was not a pretty accident. He sprinted across the bottom line to Sinner’s ball long enough to realize what he needed to do. He stopped, jumped up and flipped his wrist to place it. Dagger and whimsical, in a fraction of a millisecond. If Alcaraz was a tennis cartoon, this is the shot the animators would use to thread his game. It’s unbelievable, can’t believe what happened next has been muted. There’s a complete, abrupt change in momentum, supersonic separation and sprinting to the serve line to hit the backhand that ends the point. The commentators could not contain their enthusiasm. A camera cuts through Ferrero, standing at his feet, giggling, “What are you going to do?” father’s expression on his face. Carlos Alcaraz Is the New King of Tennis

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