Carlos Alcaraz Miami Open 2022

Casper Ruud thinks ‘rare talent’ Carlos Alcaraz has earned ‘a lot of respect’

Casper Ruud has expressed his support of Carlos Alcaraz and predicts he will achieve great things, saying he will “reach far and win big titles”

18-year-old Spanish sensation Alcaraz continued his ascent into tennis’ upper echelons when he became the third youngest player to ever win a Masters 1000 tournament with his Miami Open victory.

This comes after reaching the Indian Wells Masters semi-finals just a week before where he lost to childhood idol Rafael Nadal.

Speaking ahead of their encounter, 21-time Grand Slam champion Nadal branded his compatriot “unstoppable” and predicted Alcaraz will enjoy a fine career.

Now, Alcaraz’ Miami Open final opponent and World number seven Ruud has joined Nadal in singing the young Spaniard’s praises.

In an interview with the Ruud Talk Vodcast “he’s one of those new rare talents that you don’t see that often.

“And obviously if you look back in history, you see that these kind of players reach far and win big titles. And he’s already won one of the bigger titles of the sports.

“So I think we’re all impressed and I am also, but many players they have close matches with him and of course he’s beatable.

“It’s not like he’s inhuman, but he’s very impressive and I think of course he’ll probably only get better as the years go by and he’ll practice more and I know he’s a hard worker,” the Norwegian predicted.

“He has a good team around him, Juan Carlos Ferrero has done all this before, he was [World] number one before. Also from Juan Carlos’ perspective, I think it would be fun and his goal is probably to produce another World number one like a junior version of himself in a way.

“It’s impressive to watch and he’s very fearless on court, he goes for big shots at big moments and doesn’t hold back.

“He goes with a lot of power and risky shots, but he makes a lot of them. So it doesn’t always seem as risky.

“But as a player myself, you get surprised sometimes that he goes for certain shots, but he does them very often very well.”

Ruud then likened Alcaraz’ exponential rise to that of World number five Alexander Zverev’s, who won his first ATP Tour title aged 19.

“I think that he’s obviously one of the youngest and better players on tour at the moment and he’s earned a lot of respect among the players because he’s maybe the first one since maybe Zverev to break out at such a young age.

“Some of us were already quite good under 20, but no one was really close to top 10 at 18 except for Zverev I believe.”

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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.