‘I don’t remember Nadal or Djokovic winning everything at that age’ – Carlos Alcaraz backed by former star

Ewan West
Carlos Alcaraz on court Australian Open
Carlos Alcaraz celebrates at the Australian Open

Former world No 3 David Ferrer has expressed his support for Carlos Alcaraz by declaring that he does not remember Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic “winning everything at that age.”

The 2013 French Open runner-up believes Alcaraz is a “special” player of the “calibre” of Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer, but stressed he “still has a lot of time.”

Alcaraz has faced harsh criticism from some quarters over his progress since his stunning triumph over Novak Djokovic to win the 2023 Wimbledon title.

The Spaniard became the youngest player to ever be ranked world No 1 in the ATP Rankings after winning his maiden Grand Slam at the 2022 US Open.

The 20-year-old then overcame Djokovic in a thrilling five-set final at Wimbledon in July last year to win his most recent title at any level. The world No 2 reached his only final since his All England Club victory at the Cincinnati Masters in August.

Following a quarter-final exit to Alexander Zverev at last month’s Australian Open, Alcaraz fell to Nicolas Jarry in the semi-finals of the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires last week. Alcaraz was then forced to retire during his opening round match at the ATP 500 tournament in Rio this week due to an ankle sprain.

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In an interview with Eurosport, Ferrer offered high praise as he shared his thoughts on Alcaraz’s development and the high expectations placed on his compatriot.

“It is logical that we want him to win everything and in the last year and a half he has played at a very high level, having won two Grand Slams,” the 27-time ATP titlist said.

“At the Australian Open he was playing well, but he had a match in which he did not start well against a top 10 and, among players of that stature, you can’t lose anything.

“Now Carlos is in a year of transition, a year where it is logical that there will be more pressure because you have to maintain the high level and also because his rivals know him better.

“That’s why I say that he is a special player, of the calibre of Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic. But he still has a lot of time and you can’t ask him to win everything. I don’t remember Rafa or Djokovic winning everything at that age.”

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