By dint of breaking records for precocity, Carlos Alcaraz is no longer an incongruity. Dauphin of Novak Djokovic, the youngest number 1 in the world since the creation of the ATP ranking – at 19 years, 4 months and 6 days, thanks to his victory at the US Open, at the beginning of September 2022 – is guaranteed to get back on the first step of the podium on May 22, the day after the Rome tournament… which he has never played before. Participate in a single match in this Masters 1000, where he enters the competition Saturday, May 13 against his compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas, is enough to automatically put him back in front of the Serb, who had dethroned him thanks to his defeat in the semi-finals of the Miami tournament in early April.
The Spaniard continues his hair-raising start to the season, which got off to a late start due to a right leg injury that deprived him of the Australian Open. Since then, the balance sheet of the prodigy of El Palmar (Murcia) comes down to two defeats for twenty-nine victories. With four more titles (in five finals) in his trophy cabinet, which now has ten. Even before the epilogue at Foro Italico, it is with the bib of the favorite that he will present himself at Roland-Garros (May 28-June 11), while his glorious compatriot Rafael Nadal is still in doubt about his chances of winning. to be able to defend his 14e title.
After Buenos Aires, Indian Wells and Barcelona, in Madrid on May 7, he retained his title acquired last year, his fourth in Masters 1000. Even if it was in pain. Beaten in qualifying and then drafted, the German Jan-Lennard Struff did not go far from the hold-up of the decade, after having detected a few flaws in an attempt to destabilize his younger brother, who celebrated his 20th birthday on May 5.
“Even Federer, Nadal and Djokovic weren’t as complete”
“If he has time, if he can organize himself, he’s just too good, so I tried to take time from him, revealed the one who was then 65e worldwide (it has since moved up to the 28e place). He was standing very far behind his line on the return so I thought he wanted to put the ball back to start the rally and I managed to avoid that by going up to the net. I feel like it diminished its quality in return. »
The strategy paid off in the second set. Alcaraz was shaken up like never before since the start of the European season on earth, but his muscular arm did not shake for very long (6-4, 3-6, 6-3). He immediately recited his little tennis summary, a game without apparent weak points and full of panache. At ease both in defense and in attack, the right-hander already knows how to do everything: rush to the net, drop drop shots (his cute sin) or millimeter lobs, adjust his tactical plans according to the opponent…
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