High praise for Carlos Alcaraz as Richard Gasquet declares ‘he has the potential to win in a Grand Slam’

Carlos Alcaraz pleased

Richard Gasquet was on the losing end when Carlos Alcaraz won his maiden ATP Tour singles title and the Frenchman believes the teenager “has everything to have a huge career”.

Aged 18 years, two months and 20 days, Alcaraz became the fifth youngest player to win an ATP trophy on Sunday when he defeated Gasquet 6-2, 6-2 in the Croatia Open final in Umag.

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World No 53 Gasquet believes the young Spaniard has a bright future ahead of him.

“He plays amazing tennis, and he’s only 18 years old,” the veteran told French publication L’Equipe. “He hits hard from both sides, he serves well, he’s quick. He has everything to have a huge career.

“He’ll be top 10 in a year or two, I think, and he has the potential to win in a Grand Slam, that’s for sure.”

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Alcaraz has been compared with compatriot and 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal, but Gasquet cautioned against this.

“No one can compare with Nadal,” he said. “But Alcaraz plays very fast, very hard, he plays the game of today’s young people, he takes [the ball] early, he hits hard, he has a good technique, he feels the game.

“Where you see it is a future great player is that he can attack as well as defend, and that is the mark of a [Novak] Djokovic, a [Roger] Federer, a [Andy] Murray … He does everything. It is not stereotypical. If he has to go up, he does, for example.”

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