Carlos Alcaraz ‘needs a break’ from pressure insists former top 10 pro
Carlos Alcaraz has as much as a shot as any of the biggest players to win the US Open suggests former world number seven Barbara Schett.
The 19-year-old world number four will be making just his second appearance at the New York Slam and eighth overall in a Slam main draw.
After 2020 finalist Alexander Zverev withdrew ahead of the tournament, Alcaraz will be seeded third behind world number one Daniil Medvedev and four-time champion Rafael Nadal.
“If somebody can do it Alcaraz can,” Schett told Eurosport of the Spaniard’s chances. “He still hasn’t lost too many matches this year. I wouldn’t read too much into those last couple of tournaments (Montreal and Cincinnati). So he’s had a phenomenal year.
“I think we have to give him a bit of a break. He’s so young, he’s still learning, he’s still evolving.”
After a breakthrough Slam at last year’s US Open, reaching the quarter-finals at that level for the first time, Alcaraz has grown in his handling of matches on the biggest stage in the sport.
He reached the third round at the Australian Open this year before the quarter-finals in Paris and fourth round at Wimbledon.
Schett believes even over the longer format at the Majors, Alcaraz is a huge problem for opponents.
“I think over the course of five sets, for example, he’s going to be very tricky to play against because he has so much energy,” she said. “I think he’s learned so much at the Grand Slam events, he probably wanted it a little bit too much this year at the Grand Slams.
“You cannot write him off just yet just because he had a couple of early round losses.
“Alcaraz is one of the players nobody wants to play against in the early rounds at the US Open and he’s able to beat pretty much everyone.
The then 18-year-old simply ran out of steam in New York last year, retiring in the second set of his quarter-final match with Felix Auger-Aliassime, something that will not happen again according to Schett.
“Now he’s a different player, especially physically, and it’ll be really interesting to see how he goes.
“He definitely has a great shot to go very deep in the tournament.”
🎾 Free >> Join our legendary newsletter
🎾 Join >> Receive $700/£600 of tennis gear from the Tennishead CLUB
🎾 Social >> Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube
🎾 Read >> World’s best tennis magazine
🎾 Watch >> How to enjoy ATP/WTA/Slam tennis on TV
🎾 Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted partner