He may be just 20 years old but Eurosport expert Mats Wilander already believes that world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz is a “legend”.
Alcaraz made a successful start to the defence of his US Open title, booking his place in round two following the retirement of Dominik Koepfer.
For Alcaraz, he is now switching his focus to his next opponent, South African Lloyd Harris.
He is aiming to become the first player to retain the US Open since Roger Federer managed to win five in a row between 2004 and 2008.
But so far there have been few signs that Alcaraz is feeling the pressure as he donned a sleeveless tank top in his first-round win. And after his victory was confirmed, he treated fans by singing Sebastian Yatra’s ‘Vagabundo’.
Wilander was asked what most impressed him about Alcaraz, to which he responded: “It’s just his attitude, his appearance. I mean, you’re going sleeveless, you’re the defending US champion, you’re 20 years old. He’s singing, he’s so relaxed and that’s what impresses me. He’s having fun.
“This was a tricky match on paper. I mean, he’s such a legend already because of the way that he acts, the way he’s on court, the way you get inspired by just watching him going about it.”
Wilander added: “I love the sleeveless. At 20-years-old, that’s very gutsy, which is what Carlos Alcaraz is to me.”
Alcaraz has all of the characteristics of a champion, said Wilander, who insists he has “never seen a tennis player” like the Spaniard.
He continued: “I think there are very long-term goals in his tennis. I think it’s about becoming as good a player as you can, you win as much as you can along the way.
“I’m sure that he’s thinking 12, 13, 14, 15 more years of this and he’s going to be winning a lot. So, I think it’s just a very mature attitude. Just like his game is so mature, he can do everything.
“He has shown us now that he’s a fighter. He’s as big a fighter as the big three. He’s going to be around whatever happens as long as he’s healthy.
“He’s so mature, relaxed, so passionate, so focused, so good, so infectious for the people. I’ve never seen a tennis player like that, and I have to include Federer, [Rafael] Nadal and [Novak] Djokovic. Alcaraz is at a different level at this stage of his career.”
Read the full article here