“I’m one of the top contenders to win Roland Garros,” Alcaraz said confidently in May. Many might see that as arrogance.
And in fact, the Spaniard could not even reach the semi-finals after being eliminated by Zverev in the 8th round of the strongest player. However, just 4 months later, Alcaraz proved to the tennis world that he was not just overconfident or arrogant.
With the US Open championship in 2022 and the number one position in the ATP world, Alcaraz set many impressive records at the age of 19. The first Grand Slam title in the career of the player born in 2003 promises to open a new era. a new period for the world felt ball village.
The most anticipated next-gen
The trio of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have dominated the men’s tennis world for the past 19 years, exactly the same age as Alcaraz. On July 6, 2003, 24 hours after Alcaraz turned two months old, Federer won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, ushering in an era in which the “Big Three” won 61 of the 74 Grand Slams. The closest slam.
Since then, many different players are expected to be the “next-gen” to break the reign of the aforementioned legendary trio, such as Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic of half a decade ago, or later Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas. None of them really broke the momentum of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
In 2022, Alcaraz becomes the next expected name. What distinguishes Alcaraz from many other “next-gen” players are undoubtedly the records and advancements rarely seen in history.
At 18, Alcaraz broke into the ATP top 10 for the first time after winning the Barcelona Open. Like Nadal in the past, he became the youngest person to reach the top 10 and win the ATP 1000 title. However, after winning the US Open in September, Alcaraz surpassed Nadal to become the youngest person to hold the No. ATP, since its inception in 1973.
Journalist Ben Rothenberg analyzed on CNN: “All of the greatest tennis players of all time shine or show excellence early, when they are still teenagers.”
Alcaraz followed that path. He also did not hide his confidence.
“I can say that I am one of the Roland Garros championship contenders,” Alcaraz declared. “There are many great players – Rafa, Djokovic, but I think I’m ready to get good results at Roland Garros.”
Four months on from his somewhat controversial statement, Alcaraz proves he’s not bragging. Alcaraz coach Alberto Lledo said the 19-year-old could reach whatever level he wanted, as long as he “continues to work as hard as he does now”.
Alcaraz’s rapid rise in the past few years has made him a phenomenon. At the age of 11, Alcaraz was discovered by his current agent, Albert Molina. Four years later, Juan Carlos Ferrero – a former world champion and runner-up at Roland Garros – began coaching the young tennis player. Ferrero and the rest of the coaching staff helped Alcaraz understand the importance of persistence and hard work – it’s a “culture of effort” as physiotherapist Juanjo Moreno calls it.
Often, when young athletes make an unexpected rise to the top sport in a short period of time, it feels like they’ve popped up overnight. In fact, Moreno asserts that Alcaraz’s success comes after a long process.
The key to success
“The change in fitness is the result of Carlos’s hard training for a long time,” Moreno analyzed. “This year, we went through a long pre-season, so the whole team could focus more on improving his fitness, but any success is the result of changing habits. work, rest and diet during the previous period”.
Alcaraz is not a player with powerful or dangerous serves in the top class. He does not have any special “weapon” compared to many other legendary players. However, the difference of the player born in 2003 is the combination of many factors from tactics, physical and psychological competition.
Expert Rothenberg assessed: “Alcaraz is a comprehensive tennis player who is too young to do it all. He is tactically sharp, has a high tennis IQ combined with a physical background. wonderful”.
For Lledo, it is Alcaraz’s mentality, the way he performs and copes in difficult moments that mark this young player as a special talent.
For example, in the quarter-final against Nadal at the Madrid Open, Alcaraz went 1-6 in the second set but still bounced back to claim the final victory. In the semi-finals, Alcaraz also came back to beat Djokovic with the set score of 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5), respectively.
Regardless of how long Federer, Nadal or Djokovic can prolong their illustrious careers, the world tennis village is witnessing a phenomenon called Alcaraz, the “next-gen” has much potential and is expected. most at the moment.
Tuong Linh – Zing.vn | 19:00 September 12, 2022