Carlos Alcaraz ‘to decide the future history’ of tennis claims former No.1
Carlos Alcaraz is bidding to become only the eighth man to win the sunshine double this week, and Mats Wilander has claimed that the Spaniard could play a big role in the Grand Slam race between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Alcaraz returned to the No.1 ranking last week when he won his first Indian Wells title, ending Daniil Medvedev’s 19-match winning streak in the final.
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Wilander expressed how he thought it would in-fact be Medevdev who dictated the Grand Slam race when he won the US Open back in 2021, “After Medvedev beat Djokovic in the final of the US Open a couple of years ago, we thought that, ‘okay, he’s going to be the one making the difference’.”
He continued, “And no, he isn’t, actually because Nadal and Djokovic are still winning Grand Slams. So there’s a chance that Alcaraz will be the one that’s going to decide the future history of our game. There is a chance!”
“There is a very big chance because of what I saw in Indian Wells (where Alcaraz won the title), the talent, the joy, and because of the selection of shots that he has.”
Nadal and Djokovic lead the record books for most major titles, with 22 apiece, but Wilander has compared Alcaraz’s game to the now retired Roger Federer.
“When it comes to different match-ups, when Alcaraz is in charge of the rally he has so many more options than any tennis player that I’ve ever seen except Roger Federer,” said the seven-time Grand Slam champion.
“It doesn’t seem like it matters what the other person does if they don’t have the power because when he can control it he can hit so many different variety of shots and he’s confident in them. He’s got the hands, he’s got the explosives.”
Wilander added, “He’s going to be one of the best players of all time. He’s going to be No. 1 in the world for many years during his career.”
Alcaraz regained his No.1 ranking last week in the desert, but he will have to retain his Miami Open title to stay above Djokovic in the rankings.
Wilander is uncertain as to whether the 19-year-old will do this, but believes that most of the ATP tour should not be an issue for him, “Now, whether he stays there now or not I don’t know, and I did not know that after watching the US Open last year.”
“Now, after destroying Medvedev in the [Indian Wells] final, 100% I believe that Carlos Alcaraz has more than what it takes to be the No.1 in the world because even I got to No.1 in the world and he has literally everything. It’s about match-ups for him.”
“There is about 90% of the professional tour that he’s not going to have any problems with, and that is now what Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal have done in tennis for nearly 20 years. Now, 90% of the locker room has no chance, and 10% he might have to worry about,” claimed Wilander.
Alcaraz begins his Miami Open title defence later today, when he plays Facundo Bagnis in the second round, after receiving a bye as the top seed.
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