‘Everything points to Carlos Alcaraz as the favourite’ to win French Open
Juan Carlos Ferrero admits Carlos Alcaraz’s form on clay this season means he is the player to beat at Roland Garros, but he also cautioned the world No 1 that “if you have an average day” you can lose to anyone.
Alcaraz is backing up his breakthrough 2022 season that saw him win the US Open and become the youngest-ever world No 1 with another brilliant campaign.
He has already won four titles – including two ATP Masters 1000 titles – and is 20-2 on clay so far this year with his only defeats coming in the final of the Rio Open against Cameron Norrie and a surprise loss to the unheralded Fabian Marozsan in the third round of the Italian Open.
Alcaraz’s coach Ferrero admits his charge is the favourite to win at Roland Garros, but he also has a warning for the 20-year-old.
“Carlos has played better than anyone during the clay season, but you have to do that every day at every tournament, as I tell him,” he told the media. “We saw that in Rome; if you have an average day, your opponent plays well and you lose. Everything points to Carlos as the favourite, we’ve heard it many times and we know that.”
He added: “The rest after losing in Rome was good for him to reset on a mental level by being at home for a while. We hope everything goes well. If there are no mishaps, I think he’s one of the favourites for the title. Will it happen? We don’t know.”
A lot of young players suffer from second-season syndrome as they struggle to reproduce their heroics from their breakthrough campaign, but Alcaraz is thriving despite the added pressure of being the favourite every time he plays.
Ferrero believes the rising star has a good team around him to keep him “on the right path”.
“He’s a better player this year,” he said. “The experience of winning the US Open and going through what came after it has matured him more. The injuries have also made him think that it’s not all a bed of roses, that bad things can happen.
“In any case, he’s more mature as a person. He’s 20 and, also, when you’re in a team where people are older, I think you grow up a little quicker than you would with people who are your age.
“The whole team is very experienced, each in their own field. Carlos has an advantage in that respect: we’ve been with him for a while and we’ve worked hard to get him organised and on the right path.”
Novak Djokovic and Coco Gauff’s US Open prize money sparks fresh equal pay debate
Novak Djokovic was paid $2,730 per minute for his record-breaking 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open earlier this month.
Maria Sakkari reveals how tearful US Open exit became an inspiration
Maria Sakkari says that the love and support she received from fans and even colleagues after her US Open exit helped inspire her.
WATCH: Intense Felix Auger-Aliassime brushes off Laver Cup spat with Gael Monfils
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Gael Monfils shared some heated moments after the Canadian complained to the umpire during their Laver Cup clash.
More questions for Andy Murray to answer after another agonising defeat
Andy Murray blew an early lead as he crashed to defeat against Aslan Karatsev in the last 16.
Roger Federer reveals what he misses about tennis as Rafael Nadal surprises him
Speaking in an interview with former world No 1 Jim Courier at the Laver Cup, the 20-time Grand Slam champion reflected on how his life chan
Top coach spotted Coco Gauff’s potential very early on
Patrick Mouratoglou has revealed that Coco Gauff left a big impression on him during their first meeting.
British star set for rankings breakthrough after a decade on the ATP Tour
Liam Broady set to break into the top 100 of the ATP rankings for the first time.
Guadalajara proves a balm for Maria Sakkari’s suffering once again
Maria Sakkari feels that the bond between herself and Guadalajara has grown closer after another deep run in the Mexican city.
Novak Djokovic hits raw nerve with tennis chiefs after latest controversial comments
Djokovic has made some radical proposals that would ensure the huge amounts of cash being generated by gambling goes to tennis players.