US OPEN – The beginning of an era?  For Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Alcaraz “is 60% of what he knows how to do”

US OPEN – The beginning of an era? For Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Alcaraz “is 60% of what he knows how to do”

US OPEN – The beginning of an era?  For Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Alcaraz “is 60% of what he knows how to do”

How Carlos Alcaraz blew up every conceivable ceiling at the speed of light is still difficult to understand. At the start of the 2022 season he was still just a gifted youngster promising a bright future, but still close to the Top 30 of the rankings and whose record was still limited to just one title, in the ATP 250., in Umag. What we didn’t see coming was that this future would become his present in a matter of months.

His goal this year was to win an … ATP 500. A mission accomplished in February in Rio de Janeiro. “We may have to aim higher a little earlier than expected“, then smiled his coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero. Five weeks later, it was a Masters 1000 that fell into the hands of the prodigy from Murcia, Miami. The upstairs, inevitably, was a Grand Slam It only took him another six months to reach it.

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Once you get to number 1, it’s not “It’s over and you can go”

It was during his title in Florida that Carlos Alcaraz became convinced that the ultimate goal was becoming realistic this year. He never hid it. Before Roland-Garros, he quietly assured: “I think I’m ready to win a Grand Slam”. There was no pretense or swagger there. Just a certainty. “Honestlyconfirmed Sunday night after his US Open victorious final against Casper Ruud, from Miami I thought I had a Grand Slam in my hands. Before that I told myself that I still had to grow, that I could do a good result in a Grand Slam, but not win it. But after Miami, it changed. “

Results of operations, the Alcaraz rocket took off to climb high. A Grand Slam, two Masters 1000, five titles in total, victories against Nadal, Djokovic, Zverev, Tsitsipas, Ruud, do not jump anymore. Add the number one spot in the world as a bonus and you have a player who has fulfilled their lifelong dreams in less than a season. The most dizzying thing about all of this is that he is still a long way from having exploited his full potential.

To beat Ruud, Alcaraz fought against himself: highlights of a historic final

This is in any case the opinion of Juan Carlos Ferrero. “As I told him, I think that’s 60% of what he can dosays the Spanish coach. It can improve many things. He knows it, and I know we have to keep working. Once he’s # 1, it’s not “It’s over and you can go”. You have to keep working, keep playing at a high level in every tournament to keep winning. But he knows it. I’ll be behind him to remind him (smile). “

Ruud: “He’s one of those rare talents that comes up from time to time”

To see him play, to see him win, we actually sometimes forget that he is only 19 and that at this age we are naturally very perfectible. “It’s amazing what he achieved at his age and sometimes it’s hard to believe he’s still a “teenager”, highlights his latest victim, Casper Ruud. He is one of those rare talents that pop up from time to time in this sport. We will see how his career develops, but he is in the right direction. He deserves to have all these results. “

The 5 most beautiful points of the final: Alcaraz and Ruud, associated artists

Ruud is right, we will have to see how Carlos Alcaraz goes or not in the months and years to come. Will his motivation slow down? Will the sacred fire that seems to inhabit it vanish? There are always risks with extremely early samples. To cite just one example, when Boris Becker won his third Wimbledon at 21, everyone thought the German would go 5, 7 or 10. He has never lifted the trophy on center court again.

For now there is not. “Obviously it makes me hungry for moreensures the new world number one. I will be at the top for years, I hope. I will continue to work hard. I will fight for more.

So, is this the beginning of the “era of Alcaraz?” “I do not know. I would like, Ferrero slips. For me it was born to play this type of tournament (the Grand Slams, ed). He likes to play them, he wants to win them. The other day I was telling the press that Carlos and Sinner could dominate the circuit for the next ten years. Of course, there are other players, like Zverev, Casper (Ruud), Tsitsipas who will be there and have the opportunity to win the Grand Slam. But with all due respect, that’s what I think. “

A match that will go down in history: the highlights of an exceptional Alcaraz-Sinner

From spaghetti to bulldozer

When asked about Nadal’s career, the last player to win a Major less than 20 years before him, Carlos Alcaraz smiles. “It has 22 titles, I have one“Obviously Juan Carlos Ferrero doesn’t set such crazy goals for his protégé. But he doesn’t close any doors.”My goal is to take it to the highest level possible, He said. Obviously it will be very, very difficult to realize what they have done (Nadal, Djokovic, Federer). It is 22 Grand Slam titles. Carlos has one. There’s a way! But who knows? All we can do is try. I think he has the potential to be one of the best. “

This belief, the former Roland-Garros winner has always had. From his meeting with the little “Carlitos”. “Since I started with him, I’ve seen different things from all the other guys his age, He explains. And I always see them on the pitch. In important moments, he always tries to seize the opportunity. It’s one of the hardest things to do in tennis.. “

It was a diamond in the rough, but to be polished. And to expand. Ferrero, again: “When he arrived at the Academy (Equilite Academy, near Alicante) at 15 he was already explosive but there was a lot of work. He had super speed in his arms and legs, but he had no muscle. It was spaghetti! But yeah, it was easy to see something special about him“Spaghetti has become a bulldozer. But the construction process is therefore not complete yet. And if the coach’s analysis is correct and that Carlos Alcaraz is only sketching his potential, there is enough to excite the competition. , present or future.

Carlos Alcaraz

Credit: Imago

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