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Carlos Alcaraz will break everything

In September 2018, I had the chance to cover the Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas in Budapest. That year (just like last year), Harold Mayot’s France unfortunately lost in the final against Spain and a certain… Carlos Alcaraz. In the semi-finals, he beat Lorenzo Muzetti’s Italy. That was almost 4 years ago. At first sight, Alcaraz didn’t impress anyone: a small man, a youthful face. But he was already clearly a step ahead tennistically speaking. Admittedly, it was a team event, but no mistake possible, it was he who had worn his from start to finish. This is what it looked like:

But that was before.

Today, Carlos Alcaraz is this:

What a player! It’s been a long time since I’ve been so impressed by a player. I saw him play at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, especially against Gaël Monfils. That night, he faced one of the most powerful players on the circuit. Gaël sent big forehand strikes and Carlos responded tit for tat. The speed, the power of La Monf did not impress him at all. Why ? Because he was hitting even harder and faster. But as a bonus, after 4 or 5 shots, Carlitos sent a delicious drop shot that systematically killed the point, leaving the Frenchman there, far behind his baseline.

It is indeed a phenomenon.

Feeling a “wow” effect while watching a game hadn’t happened to me for a long time. And god knows I watch tennis! But here we are on to something else. It is indeed a phenomenon.

His progress is impressive. A year ago, to the day, he was ranked 133rd in the world.

Today, he is 11th, at the gates of a Top 10 that he will undoubtedly have integrated at the end of the clay court season which starts today with Houston and Marrakech. The Murcian has almost no points to defend, except for a 2nd round in Madrid (he lost 6-1 6-2 against Rafael Nadal) and a 3rd round at Roland-Garros where he left qualifications. To date, he is registered in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, but I have no doubts about his participation in Rome.

His passing times are impressive. For example, the previous precocity record in Miami was held by Novak Djokovic who won there at the age of 19. It was in 2007. Alcaraz was 3 years old.

On the other hand, the youngest finalist in Miami remains Rafael Nadal who, in 2005, was 18 years and 10 months (compared to 18 and 11 months for Alcaraz, born on May 5, 2003) when he lost to Roger Federer after having led 2 sets to nothing. For the record, Miami remains one of the rare tournaments that Rafa has still not managed to win.

Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest player to break into the Top 20 since Andrei Medvedev in 1993. Last year, with his quarter-final at the US Open, he became the youngest player to reach this stage of the competition in New York since the beginning of the open era.

Carlos Alcaraz is not only in a closed circle, he has taken the lead.

With his victory in Miami, Carlos Alcaraz is this time the 3rd youngest player in history to have won a Masters 1000, just behind Rafael Nadal 2nd (Monte-Carlo 2005), and Michael Chang 1st (Toronto in 1990). Ah yes, I forgot, the Spaniard has never lost on the main circuit in the final. 3 finals = 3 wins.

Here is a small table that allows you to compare the best passing times on the “sunshine double”:

Player

BNP Paribas Open

Age

Miami

Age

Carlos Alcaraz

2022 1/2 finalist

18 years old

2022 Winner

18 years old

Rafael Nadal

2006 1/2 finalist

19 years old

2005 Finalist

18 years old

Novak Djokovic

2007 Finalist

19 years old

2007 Winner

19 years old

Andy Murray

2007 1/2 finalist

19 years old

2007 1/2 finalist

19 years old

Andre Agassi

1988 1/2 finalist

17 years

1990 Winner

19 years old

Carlos Alcaraz is not only in a closed circle, he has taken the lead. So of course, he still hasn’t proven anything in terms of prize list compared to these four, but in terms of potential, we started off on a very, very good basis.

But what must have pleased the Spanish teenager the most is this tweet:

(Congratulations Carlitos on your historic triumph in Miami. The first of many to come, that’s for sure).

You surprise me ! If he remains “healthy”, I don’t see how he could not become world number 1 and multiple Grand Slam winner.

Carlitos, the number you’re aiming for is 21. For now.

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