Who is Carlos Alcaraz the new prodigy of Spanish tennis?

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Carlos Alcaraz (16th in the world) became at 18 the youngest winner of the Miami Masters 1000 tournament on Sunday, beating in the final 7-5, 6-4, the Norwegian Casper Ruud (8th). This phenomenon is already presented as the new Rafael Nadal.

At 18, Carlos Alcaraz is the new sensation world tennis. The Spaniard jumped five places on Monday, April 4, in the ATP rankings to take 11th place in the world, the day after his victory at the Masters 1000 in Miami, of which he is now the youngest winner.

Whereas Rafael Nadal, winner of the last Australian Open, and in fact the only record holder for the number of Grand Slam titles (21), continues to be reborn at 35, Carlos Alcaraz, his designated successor, is already ready to take over . His eldest has also dubbed him on social networks. “Congratulations ‘Carlitos’ for your historic victory. Definitely the first of a long series to come!” Congratulated Rafael Nadal on Twitter.

By winning at only 18, the Spanish prodigy did better than Novak Djokovic, who was 19 when he was crowned in Miami in 2007. He beat 7-5, 6-4, the Norwegian Casper Ruud, 8th world player who was also playing his first final of an event in this category.

“I felt at home from the first game. There are a lot of people who speak Spanish here. Without you, without the energy you gave me in difficult times, I don’t think I would have won this tournament”, he reacted, addressing the public.

Winner of the third tournament of his career, the most prestigious, after those gleaned on clay in Rio de Janeiro in February and in Umag, Croatia, last year, he thus acts his irresistible rise.

A precocity

This native of El Palmar, a town located near Murcia, in the south-east of Spain, achieved early success. At 15, he won his first match in a Challenger tournament in Alicante in April 2019. The following year, he revealed himself at the ATP 500 tournament in Rio de Janeiro, where he received an invitation. Aged 16 and ranked 406th in the world, he eliminated Albert Ramos-Viñolas, 41st, in the first round before losing to Federico Coria. He is then the youngest player to win a match on the ATP Tour since 2013 and the youngest to break a top 50 since 2003.

The same year, he became the fifth player to manage to win three Challengers before the age of 18 (with Richard Gasquet, Félix Auger-Aliassime, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martín del Potro) and received at the end of the season the ATP Award for the revelation.

The young tennis player continues on his way. In 2021, he spent one round at the Australian Open, then reached the 3rd round at Roland Garros, before reaching the quarter-finals at the US Open, notably knocking down world number 3 Stéfanos Tsitsipás in the 3rd round. in a hotly contested match lasting more than 4 hours. He was then the youngest player to beat a member of the world’s top 3 since Michael Chang in 1989. Carlos Alcaraz was forced to retire in the quarter against Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime due to a right adductor injury.

“I can win a Grand Slam this year”

To raise him to the top, he can count on former Spanish champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, who has been his coach for four years. Asked by the teamthe latter had been convinced for a long time that his protege would go far: “His potential was there, and my role was to let him evolve, to let him play and to maintain a good rhythm. So no, his victory does not surprise me at all but, of course, it all the same went very quickly. Which is not easy…”

The two men have a very strong relationship. While Juan Carlos Ferrero was not in Miami at the start of the tournament due to the death of his father, his young champion never stopped thinking of him throughout the competition, dedicating each of his victories to the Ferrero family. .

This duo is now programmed to win as many titles as possible. Carlos Alcaraz does not hide that he is full of confidence. “I can win a Grand Slam this year. And I’m not afraid to say it. There is Nadal, Djokovic, Tsitsipas or Medvedev, who are the best in the world and Grand Slam favorites, but yes, I don’t am not afraid to say that I am ready to win a Grand Slam”, he thus entrusted to the newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

With AFP

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