Carlos Alcaraz Miami Open 2022

Rafael Nadal’s ‘heir apparent’ Carlos Alcaraz can break ‘double digit’ Grand Slam tally, legend predicts

Chris Evert believes Carlos Alcaraz is the ‘heir apparent’ to Rafael Nadal and even compared him to numerous other Grand Slam legends, predicting he’ll win “double-digit Grand Slams.”

After an impressive breakthrough last season, 18-year-old prodigy Alcaraz continued his rich vein of form into the new year, winning the Rio and Miami Opens.

With his Rio Open win he became the youngest ever player to win an ATP 500 event and his Miami victory was his maiden Masters 1000 event, making him the third youngest Masters winner of all time.

Speaking to Eurosport, 18-time Slam ace Chris Evert said “when Alcaraz lost to Nadal in Indian Wells, Nadal was talking about him and he said he’s humble, passionate and strong. After he said all these superlatives, I said to myself: ‘wait, he’s talking about himself.’

“That’s why he’s the heir apparent to Nadal because he’s got all those intangible qualities that’re so appealing … along with the physical tools, his movement and the fact he has no weaknesses.

“He’s got the whole package and I know I sound like everyone else when I say he’s going to win multiple Grand Slams, but he could be in the double digits in Grand Slams and become [World] number one. There’s nothing preventing him in my eyes.

“It’s interesting with how physical tennis is now – especially in the men’s game that a teenager – would we ever expect to see an 18-year-old with the physicality and the tools this advanced in the men’s game?” Evert questioned.

“I think having that inner confidence and belief in yourself is the quality of a champion and it’s nothing but a good thing; because if he didn’t have that, he might have doubts in his mind that would prevent him from winning a Grand Slam.

Evert even compared Alcaraz to a number of other Slam greats, saying “all the great champions that had longevity – like Federer, Nadal, Martina Navratilova, and Steffi Graf – have that belief and I think it’s innate and I wouldn’t expect anything less.

“I think that’s one of the intangibles of a champion. We all see the tangible things like the power and the control and the stroke production.

“The intangibles are harder to see. You don’t know what they’re thinking or feeling, but that’s 50% of the whole package: the belief that they have and how they problem solve, and that’s all as important as the toolbox that you have as a player.

“And by believing in himself and saying it outright, he’s sent out a message to other players: ‘I feel like I belong here and I’m going to achieve many things and you’re not going to stop me.'”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.