Zverev praises, King congratulates
Spain celebrates tennis teenager as new Nadal
May 9, 2022, at 14.03
Rafael Nadal is still playing, but not only in Spain, people are already cheering on his potential successor. Carlos Alcaraz is the new tennis prodigy. As impressive as he is with Alexander Zverev, he has become one of the favorites at the French Open.
Spain has a new tennis prodigy. Two weeks before the start of the French Open, the jubilation of Carlos Alcaraz in his home country knew no bounds. After the impressive triumph at the Masters 1000 event in Madrid with the final victory over Alexander Zverev, even King Felipe VI reported. in the 19-year-old. The young star is preparing to follow in the footsteps of Grand Slam record winner Rafael Nadal.
The monarch took the time during a visit to Central American Costa Rica to call Alcaraz and congratulate him on his success. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez also reported via Twitter with a round of applause emoji: “Giant Alcaraz!” Sánchez wrote and spoke of an “epic” success.
It was actually impressive how Alcaraz performed in Madrid week. Victory in the quarterfinals against his great idol Nadal, victory in the semifinals against world number one Novak Djokovic and then in the finals a lesson for defending champion Zverev. It was 6: 3, 6: 1 to Alcaraz after a little over an hour – then he stood in the glittering rain at Center Court in Caja Magica and made Zverev pour a bottle of champagne over his head.
“This centercourt belonged to Rafael Nadal for 15 years and it will probably belong to Carlos Alcaraz for the next 15 years,” Zverev said before the one-sided final. Zverev rightly pointed out that after his two night shifts against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarterfinals and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals, he was not in full possession of his strength. However, the German number one also openly admitted: “Even if I had been fit, I probably would not have had a chance against Carlos today. He will celebrate many more Grand Slam titles.”
Suddenly one of the favorites in Paris
Most experts agree that the development of Alcaraz is really impressive. Only at the Australian Open last year did he qualify for the main draw in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. Four major tournaments later, he travels to the French Open in Paris next week as one of the favorites.
“It’s impressive how calm and composed he is at his young age,” Djokovic said in praise of the stage’s high-flyer, for whom it was his fourth tournament victory this year. “He comes with everything. I’m very happy for him,” Nadal said. The 35-year-old must now defend his living room in Roland Garros not only against Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Zverev and Tsitsipas in two weeks, but also against his 16-year-old compatriot.
“He’s not a child, he’s a monster,” La Vanguardia told the newspaper on Monday. “Alcaraz takes command” was written on the front page of “ABC”, “Alcaraz is on its way to number one”, wrote “El Mundo”.
The most well-informed player at the moment
The celebrated man himself remained modest. “Just because I won in Barcelona and beat Djokovic and Nadal in Madrid, I do not consider myself the best player in the world,” he said. But his powerful play, his fitness and his big fighting heart make him at least the currently most shapely player on the tour.
While Djokovic is only slowly regaining momentum after his Australian Open trauma, and Nadal is still looking for his top form after breaking his ribs, Alcaraz dominates the stage and starts for Paris with a wide chest. He will not be attending the next event in the Masters 1000 category in Rome this week due to minor ankle problems. “This victory in Madrid gives me a lot of confidence for Roland Garros,” said Alcaraz in Madrid. “I will fight for the title with all my might in Paris.”