Carlos Alcaraz, the story of the new prodigy who threatens to found a new era of tennis

Carlos Alcaraz was exhausted. After a first set where the Spaniard was impressive, it seemed that Casper Ruud took his hand and dominated. After a second set to forget, he had a positive start in the third. But the ghosts returned. The fatigue was noticeable. He had played three straight five-set matches. Before Jannik Sinner he was close to falling, but he got up from the canvas. Just like in the final on Sunday.

Advance the stopwatch. The Spaniard, only 19 years old, knows that it is a unique opportunity. He can win his first Grand Slam, climb to first place in the ATP ranking and become the youngest leader in history. You can’t succumb. The equality of the third set is not broken. The Norwegian is close to breaking him. If he does, he keeps the sleeve and takes advantage. Alcaraz fights so that it doesn’t happen. He succeeds and stretches the tie break. It is a second wind, it shows in the definition, where he brings out the best of his repertoire.

In the fourth he wins. A break It’s enough. The US Open has a new king. World tennis finds a new monarch, strictly speaking. A novel tennis player who is here to stay and who has the expectation of starting a new era.

Since childhood, the boy from El Palmar, a town belonging to the municipality of Murcia, had his great goal clear. “I want to be number one,” he declared at sixteen. It had only been two since he left the tennis school run by his father, to jump into more complex competitions.

His family, a tennis fan since his grandparents, instilled the sport in him. Of course it wasn’t until the age of fourteen, when Juan Carlos Ferrero saw his potential, that he started his exponential rise. Just a year and a half on the circuit has been enough to get him to where he is. The numbers are incredible. In five seasons, the boy from Murcia, after leaving home, becomes the best on the planet in his discipline.

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates after winning the final against Casper Ruud. Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Carlitos, a nickname that is explained by the fact that his father bears the same name, arrives at Ferrero’s forward after Albert Molina captured him. The agent came into the life of the tennis player when he was twelve years old. Since then he accompanies him in his decision making. In all of his matches, when he wins a point or the situation gets complicated, the Murcian’s gaze goes to Ferrero or Molina. The complicity is evident in the dialogue and gestures.

Ferrero, a historic former Spanish tennis player, in record time has developed the virtues of the current number 1. Many hours in the gym, permanent mental work, taking advantage of his height and his power on serve, are some of the keys.

Of course, not everything in Alcaraz’s life is tennis. If 80 percent, probably. So you get to his position. However, with a whole life ahead of him, the young athlete occupies his free time with other hobbies. He is a fan of a football team, for example: Real Madrid. Furthermore, he claims to be a follower of the Golf.

His idol in his area is logical. Ad portas in his twenties, it’s no wonder he admires Rafael Nadal. With whom, by the way, he has seen faces three times. With two wins for the experienced and one for the novice. Carlitos’ triumph was at the Masters 1000 in Madrid, this season, by 6-2, 1-6 and 6-3. Curiously, he does not like to be compared to the man from Manacor, despite not hiding his idolatry. “If I have to say a player that is similar to my game, I think he is Federertrying to be aggressive all the time”, he declared on one occasion.

In his private life, he has generational tastes. She claims to “enjoy” reggaeton and says she listens to it. He also maintains that his favorite actor is Will Smith, but that his favorite movie is Rocky Balboa. Sylvester Stallone’s work often appears on athlete lists.

It is the new strain of tennis. This Sunday, after her historic deed in New York, she took the microphone to make her feelings known. “Winning a ‘Grand Slam’ title and being number one is something she dreamed of since she was a child,” she started by saying. Looking back on his story, Alcaraz said: “I have to put all the work I’ve done together with my team and my family into perspective.”

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