Roger Federer and Carlos Alcaraz - Shanghai Masters 2023

Roger Federer defends ‘unbelievable’ Carlos Alcaraz despite recent defeats

Roger Federer has praised Carlos Alcaraz for his Wimbledon final victory over Novak Djokovic, claiming that the Spaniard ‘has done as well as he possibly could have’ in his young career so far.

Federer was present at the closing stages of the Shanghai Masters this year, however Alcaraz had already exited the tournament after a fourth round defeat to Grigor Dimitrov.

This defeat made it five consecutive tournaments where Alcaraz has not won the title, with his last victory coming at Wimbledon.

But, Federer has spoken in only positive terms about the 20-year-old on the ATP Tennis Radio Podcast, “Alcaraz is great. He’s still young and everything that he has achieved is fantastic, not just on clay or the hard surfaces.

“Winning Wimbledon against Novak in the final is no joke. He didn’t need to really prove that point but that’s another super asterisk in his CV. It’s mighty impressive.”

The former No.1 also brought comparisons to himself and the other members of the ‘big four’, “Of course, as it was with Rafa [Nadal], Novak, myself, and [Andy] Murray, we all expect now every generation to produce their best tennis every single week, but it’s hard to do that.”

Federer continued, “I think Carlos has done as well as he possibly could have so far. And he’s going to lose sometimes, like here in Shanghai, but he’s doing fantastic. He’s got a great game and obviously an unbelievable future ahead of him.”

Noting back to Alcaraz’s Wimbledon victory over Djokovic, that kept Federer as the standalone man with the most singles titles (8), the 42-year-old revealed that he only saw ‘a little bit’ of the final.

“The Wimbledon final, I only literally saw a couple of games that day because we are running around with the kids and doing stuff,” said Federer. “Then at one point, like I quickly checked just to say ‘Okay, I saw the Wimbledon final a little bit’, you know?”

He added, “Of course, I was curious. I was checking the scores from time to time, but for me to sit down was just hard. But I was happy that the match was as great as it was, of course. And I love when great stories come out of the game and what Novak and Carlos have done again this year has been incredible.”

As Federer continues to enjoy retirement, Alcaraz will turn his attention to the Swiss’ home tournament in Basel, that he has won more times than anyone else (10).

Inside the baseline…

Although Alcaraz has not quite been in top form over the past couple of months, he has still consistently been reaching the latter stages of tournaments with some great performances. It has still been a very good year for the Spaniard, who has won six titles, including a Grand Slam (Wimbledon) and two Masters 1000 titles (Indian Wells and Madrid). Alcaraz has openly admitted that Federer is his idol, so these comments will no doubt provide a confidence and morale boost for him.

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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.