Legendary coach disagrees with Boris Becker’s comments about Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz will once again be “a contender for every Grand Slam” in 2024 alongside Novak Djokovic, according to Rick Macci with the esteemed tennis coach also taking issue with Boris Becker’s comments about the youngster.
Following his extraordinary breakthrough season in 2022 that saw him win the US Open and finish the campaign as the year-end No 1, Alcaraz followed it up with the Wimbledon title this year although he finished second behind Djokovic in the rankings.
The Spaniard ended up winning six tournaments in 2023, but none of those titles came after his epic Wimbledon final win over Djokovic.
Despite his so-called slump during the second half of the year, renowned coach Macci – who mentored the likes of Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick – feels Alcaraz will challenge for all the major titles next year.
“As I said, three years ago, it’s something the world hadn’t seen. He’s something, in my opinion, that is very unique,” he said during an interview with Tennis Infinity.
“He never played that much on grass, and then he made some Houdini escapes at Wimbledon, and then he beat Djokovic in the final. So, I think it should show everybody his greatness.
“And remember, he’s 20 years old. I mean, people forget this, and you’re gonna have some ups and downs. In my opinion, he’s getting better, but here’s what I mean by that. People look at him, but he didn’t do that well at the end of the season.
“I’m still putting my money on him next year as a contender for every Grand Slam right there with Djokovic.”
Alcaraz failed to reach a final during the final few months of the season and also lost to Djokovic in the semi-final of the ATP Finals.
It led to suggestions from former world No 1 Becker that the 20-year-old has stagnated, with the German saying “other players have developed and Alcaraz hasn’t”.
But Macci has a different viewpoint.
“I don’t look that he did bad result-wise. He was a little injured, I could see that his mobility wasn’t 100%,” he said. “But he still played. And when you don’t play 100 per cent with confidence, what I saw, he was a little bit more on the back foot; he wasn’t as authoritative as he usually was.
“I think I read Boris Becker said ‘he didn’t get any better’. I disagree. I think he got better by losing, even though not by the result. He got better because it will motivate him to work on the mental game and solidify things a little bit, and I think the best is yet to come from Carlos Alcaraz.”
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