Inspired by Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz now eyes Grand Slam titles

Carlos Alcaraz

New Miami Open champion Carlos Alcaraz has already set his sights on winning one of tennis’ four major titles.

The 18-year-old wrote his name into the record books after he beat Caspar Ruud 7-5 6-4 in Sunday’s final, by becoming the youngest player to win there, an accolade Novak Djokovic previously held.

He is also the third-youngest ever to win a Masters 1000 title, after Michael Chang and Rafael Nadal, having won his first Masters 500 title win at the Rio Open in February.

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Already lauded by many as a future world number one, he spoke of some of his future targets following Sunday’s victory.

“I am achieving very difficult things like winning here at Miami and previously at Rio, two incredible tournaments where great players are also competing,” he told the media.

“The fact that I won them it gave me extra motivation. At the start of the year, I said I wanted to finish among the top 15 and now I am the world number 11.

“I wanted to win an ATP 500 and I did it, then I wanted to win an ATP 1000 and I did it too.

“I am not afraid to say that I want to win a Grand Slam. I know it is going to be a difficult path because you are playing against the best players in the world during two weeks, but I am not afraid I will try to win a Grand Slam.”

Alcaraz’s best performance to date at a major was in last year’s US Open, where he had to retire hurt during his quarter-final clash against Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Alcaraz’s rise up the ranks has seen him being compared to Spanish compatriot Rafael Nadal, who he said has been a long-time rolemodel for him.

“I have always looked up to Rafa, I always watched his big moments and matches and learned a lot from that,” Alcaraz, who fell to the floor following his latest success, added.

“When I fell to the floor, all the times I have dreamed of this came to me.”