Carlos Alcaraz - Australian Open 2024

Carlos Alcaraz ‘the calibre of Nadal, Federer or Djokovic’ claims compatriot

Carlos Alcaraz has been compared to ‘the big three’ by compatriot and former world No.3 David Ferrer, suggesting that his fellow Spaniard ‘is in a year of transition’.

Alcaraz was forced to retire from his first round match at the Rio Open last week after only two games, with the 20-year-old twisting his ankle in just the second point.

The Wimbledon champion has since had an MRI scan and revealed that it should only take a few days to recover, making him able to play in Indian Wells and bid to defend the title.

And Ferrer has suggested that Alcaraz’s unprecedented success has almost been the product of his own downfall, after making a relatively slow start to 2024, “It is logical that we want him to win everything and in the last year and a half he has played at a very high level, having won two Grand Slams.”

The 2013 Roland Garros finalist continued, “At the Australian Open he was playing well, but he had a match in which he did not start well against a top 10 [player] and, among players of that stature, you can’t lose anything.

“Now Carlos is in a year of transition, a year where it is logical that there will be more pressure because you have to maintain the high level and also because his rivals know him better.”

Ferrer even went onto compare Alcaraz to his former rivals, “That’s why I say that he is a special player, of the calibre of Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic. But he still has a lot of time and you can’t ask him to win everything. I don’t remember Rafa or Djokovic winning everything at that age.”

Alcaraz is next set to compete in a Netflix special exhibition match against the aforementioned Nadal in Las Vegas, before heading to Indian Wells for the start of the sunshine double.

Inside the baseline…

It is extremely high praise given by David Ferrer, who knows what it is like to compete against the best of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Although it has not been title winning form from Carlos Alcaraz this season, there have still been some good signs and it is almost undoubtable that providing he stays fit he will compete for some of the biggest titles in 2024.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.