Carlos Alcaraz grew up looking up to Rafa Nadal, but cites another iconic champion as stylistic inspiration.
By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, February 23, 2023
Carlos Alcaraz never faced Roger Federer, but the US Open champion is "enchanted" by the Swiss superstar—and cites him as stylistic inspiration.
The 19-year-old Spaniard often names Rafa Nadal as his tennis hero, but in a new interview with Vogue Magazine, Alcaraz says Federer's sheer artistry mesmerized him and shaped his aesthetic.
“Rafa is someone I’ve always watched,” Alcaraz told Vogue Magazine. “I admire him a lot. But Federer, the class he had, the way he got people to see tennis: That was beautiful.
"Watching Federer is like looking at a work of art. It’s elegance, he did everything magnificently. I became enchanted by him.”
Prior to his Laver Cup farewell match in London last September, Federer said he was impressed by the Spaniard's US Open run and believes the future of the sport is "bright" with Alcaraz among young stars at the top of tennis.
"Of course, it's disappointing I was never able to play against him," Federer said of Alcaraz. "Of course I watched him closely what he did at the US Open and throughout the year.
"It's been fantastic, and I always said there will be always new superstars in the game, and he's one of them. The game is bright."
Coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who coached Serena Williams, told Tennis Majors Alcaraz's all-court aggression, smooth movement and clever creativity recall Federer.
"He combines the qualities of the three greatest players of all time,” Mouratoglou told Tennis Majors of Alcaraz's game. “I think the one his game is closest to is Federer. Like him, he’s super aggressive and super creative, always trying to do something with the ball.
"The speed with which he is able to go from the back to the inside of the court, that’s pure Roger.”
Photo credit: Getty