The 18-time major champion was raving about the world-class game of Alcaraz after he won the Miami title. By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday April 3, 2022
Carlos Alcaraz has been getting rave reviews from pundits and players alike ever since he stormed onto the scene as a bright-eyed 16-year-old to win his first match at the Rio Open in 2020. Two years later he’s the yougest Miam Open champion men’s singles champion on history and the third youngest Masters 1000 title winner.
18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova thinks that this is just the tip of the iceberg for Alcaraz. Speaking in an interview alongside Jim Courier for Tennis Channel after Alcaraz topped Casper Ruud 7-5, 6-4, the legend and Hall of Famer predicted an extremely bright future for the rising Spaniard.
“There’s nothing missing,” an excited Navratilova said. “His physique. He’s got it all going on, and for me, he’s one of the top people that you have to talk about at every major now, along with Djokovic, Nadal and Medvedev, he is the fourth one for me.”
Alcaraz, just more than a month shy of his 19th birthday, is going to present beaucoup problems for the rest of the men’s tour, says Navratilova.
“He’s only going to get better and that’s pretty scary for the rest of the field,” Navratilova said. “You see them making errors that they normally wouldn’t make because of his speed. He’s so quick, I think he’s as quick as anybody, I think he’s quicker than Djokovic – maybe not faster, but quicker – and when he’s stretched out wide on the backhand he’s so strong he can still dip the ball at [his opponent’s] net – you think you’re great position to put the volley away and, oops, there goes the ball.
“He can create pace, where most people would be hitting a defensive shot, he can still create offense – he’s so impressive.”
The rise of Carlos Alcaraz 📈
April 2020: World No. 318
April 2021: World No. 120
April 2022: World No. 11 (from Monday)
What's next for @alcarazcarlos03? pic.twitter.com/xC53jvqknB
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 3, 2022
The Touch of Alcaraz is Epic
Navratilova says that the World No.11 possesses a rare combination of power and nuance.
“Another thing that impresses me about this young man, besides his power, is his touch,” she said. “For me that’s the best combination of raw power and pure touch that I have seen, usually people have one or the other, but not both.”
Is it too early to say that Alcaraz is a lock to be a multiple Grand Slam winner, and thus a Hall of Famer? Apparently not.
“I think the only thing that would keep him from getting to the Hall of Fame would be his body, if somehow that doesn’t hold up,” Navratilova raved. “But he’s a specimen, he doesn’t need to do anything different physically, he’s perfect right now, just keep going the same way on the physical part, and mentally Juan Carlos Ferrero has done a great job with him, he really understands the game, and he’s only going to get better.”
Alcaraz is literally a coach’s dream, says Navratilova. With his diverse skill set he can execute on any plan and expose any weakness.
“The coach literally can give him a game plan that’s very specific and he doesn’t have to think ‘oh, can I handle it,’” she said. “He can handle all of it. He can handle whether it’s slice, drop shot, lob, go big, stand back, he can come in, do the SABR a la Roger Federer – he’s got it all. And he’s so quick coming from defense to offense – I mean, good luck to the tour.”