Juan Carlos Ferrero highlights difference between coaching Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev

Ewan West
Alexander Zverev and Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid
Alexander Zverev and Carlos Alcaraz shake hands

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero has explained the differences between coaching the Spaniard and Alexander Zverev, who he previously worked with. 

The 2003 French Open champion admitted he found there were “few possibilities to change certain things” with Zverev that he felt were necessary for the German to improve.

Ferrero has coached Alcaraz since 2018 and has played an integral role in the two-time major champion’s rise to the top of the sport, having trained Alexander Zverev between July 2017 and February 2018.

The former world No 1 has previously revealed that his time working with Zverev was challenging, while he has found working with Alcaraz to be a rewarding experience.

“I know I needed something like that (working with Alcaraz) because working with Zverev was not easy for me,” Ferrero told Eurosport in 2022.

“It is not the same culture and he understands in a slightly different way what it means to be professional. He needed to reset a bit and work with someone who had the same character as me and who wanted the same for the future and I think I found that in Carlos.”

READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz’s coach compares Jannik Sinner’s impact to emergence of Novak Djokovic

In an interview with La Nacion, Ferrero was asked about the satisfaction he gets from coaching Alcaraz given the 20-year-old responds to him on court and shows him affection and trust.

“Here there was a big change: when I was training Zverev and I left him to train Carlos, Zverev was 5th in the world, he was a very mature player, even though he is young,” he said.

“I found myself with few possibilities to change certain things that, in my opinion, I needed [for Zverev] to be a better professional and continue improving. He thought other things… Very well, we have come this far.

“And with Carlos, I was able to cook a player who already obviously had impressive characteristics, with a dynamism that at 15 years old is seen very little, but that had to be ordered, polished, manufactured.

“I think that, between the family and the team… his father (Carlos Alcaraz Gonzalez) is an expert in the world of tennis, he has been a tennis player and he did well to know how to surround himself with people with experience.

“We have been able, together, to remove a player who had it inside him. He still has many things to improve, but for being twenty years old. It’s impossible that he doesn’t have things to improve.”

The Spaniard also added he feels it is helpful for Alcaraz that he comes from the fairly quiet village of El Palmar in southern Spain, which is home to around 23,000 people.

“Yes, for me that is important. When you are from a city where you have many distractions, it is very easy to lose your way a little,” Ferrero said.

“When you come from a family like his, of athletes, and you live in a place where the atmosphere is full of sports, a small place, it helps. The example I had with myself was like this. I was in a place with 40,000 inhabitants, small, quiet, but that helped me to be calm in the academy, training.

“Not being the focus of attention, that if you go out to dinner they will take a photo, in the magazines of this or that, the disco very close at hand, many distractions — and I think that helps him.”

READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz makes ‘star’ admission in Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer comparison