Alcaraz.. the rightful heir of the Matador


New York (AFP)
The crowning of Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz with the American Championship Flushing Meadows in New York came as a new record chapter of a wonderful story that is expected to end with “thirty major championship titles” in tennis.
By defeating Norway’s Casper Ruud in five sets in New York, the 19-year-old became the youngest winner of a Grand Slam since compatriot Rafael Nadal, nicknamed the Matador at Roland Garros 2005, and the youngest to top the world rankings since Australia’s Lleyton Hoyt in 2001.
The humble player with a strong muscular build and coming from the town of El Palmar in Murcia (south-east), is no stranger to breaking records, especially in 2022.
He won five of his six titles this year, while his coronation in the United States Championship, Sunday in New York, raised his prize money to about 10 million dollars.
When he entered the top five in July, he was the youngest since 2005. He delivered a stern warning to Madrid’s elite tennis players in May, when he became the only player to beat Nadal and Novak Djokovic on a single clay court, en route to the title.
“It’s rare that you see such strength and speed as Carlos,” said Tony Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and coach for many years.
He continued, “He follows in Rafa’s footsteps, he does not give up until the last ball and he has that special strength.”
Nadal was also 19 when he won his first major title, out of 22 records so far, at Roland Garros in 2005.
But the 36-year-old called on fans not to pressure his young compatriot, by making daring comparisons.
“I forgot how I was at the age of nineteen,” Rafa said. The only thing we can do is enjoy the career of a great player like Carlos.”
He continued: “If he can win 25 major titles, it will be great for him and our country. But let him enjoy his career.”
In turn, Alcaraz told the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, last June: “It has been going on for years on social media. But I try not to get distracted: to think about myself and my development. I’m from Murcia, and he’s from Mallorca. He is left-handed, and I do not. When I was young, I was not a warrior and was physically weak.”
Despite Nadal’s reluctance, comparisons are inevitable.
Nadal won his first 92 titles in Polish Sopot at the age of 18 in 2004. Alcaraz, who started playing tennis at the age of four and learned it at a club run by his father, was also 18 when he won his first title in Croatian Umag in 2021.
The two players are tight-lipped about their private lives, enjoying the passionate crowd support, and base their game on solid defense and blazing attack.
Nadal fought over 5 hours and 53 minutes in the 2012 Australian Final, when he lost to rival Djokovic. Four years later, he won his first Wimbledon title after an epic match that lasted 4 hours and 48 minutes against Roger Federer.
In 2022, Alcaraz played three matches in five sets to reach Sunday’s final, saving a ball to decide the quarter-final match against Italian Yannick Sener that lasted 5 hours and 15 minutes.
After winning the Madrid Masters this year, Alcaraz said: “I know I am a very competitive boy. I compete when I play any game, golf, petanque .. I do not like to lose.”
Next to him is his compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero, who won the 2003 Roland Garros title when he took the top spot in the world rankings.
“I hope Carlos wins 30 Grand Slam titles,” said Ferrero, who started working with Alcaraz when he was 15. He will have many opportunities.”
Alcaraz has won junior championships in Europe and Spain, under the supervision of Albert Molina, the agent at AMG Tennis Management.
Molina founded the Alcaraz-Ferrero Partnership, then the latter brought his talent to his academy in Valencia, 120 km from El Palmar.
His raw talent soon attracted prestigious sponsors such as Nike and Rolex, who were quick to sign Nadal’s heir. The circle surrounding the player expanded to include a fitness coach, physical therapist and support from psychiatrists and doctors.
His potential was demonstrated at the age of sixteen in Rio on dirt in 2020, when he, ranked 406th in the world, achieved his first victory in the professional tournaments over compatriot Albert Ramos Vinolas.
Alcaraz and Ferrero developed a solid professional and deep personal relationship.
After Ferrero returned home following the death of his father, he raced across the Atlantic again to see Alcaraz win his first Masters title at Miami in March by defeating Roode in the final.
“Let it flow, let it play,” Ferrero said when asked to chart the future course of his student.

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Suraj Sewatkar
Suraj Sewatkar
Hi !!! This is Suraj Sewatkar, a blogger by hobby and HR by profession. I like to learn new things and go to new places. I am a website developer and have developed a number of websites and blogs on Blogger as well as WordPress as well with 3 years of experience in the HR field

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