Roger Federer on Novak Djokovic’s claim that Carlos Alcaraz is a mix of the ‘Big Three’

Kevin Palmer
Carlos Alcaraz in action
Carlos Alcaraz celebrates

Roger Federer has warned that Carlos Alcaraz is unlikely to follow in the footsteps of the game’s all-time great despite a sparkling start to his tennis career.

Alcaraz has won two Grand Slam titles by the age of 20, with his US Open win last year backed up by a stunning victory against Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final last July.

Alcaraz has also had a spell at the top of the ATP rankings and claimed the year-end world No 1 title last year, yet his form has slipped a little in recent weeks.

A defeat against Daniil Medvedev in the US Open semi-final was backed up by losses against Jannik Sinner in the China Open and Grigor Dimitrov in the Shanghai Masters last week.

Now 20-time Grand Slam-winning icon Federer has given his verdict on the rise of Alcaraz, as he urged tennis fans not to expect a player of his age to produce the levels of consistency that he, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic managed during their periods of dominance at the top of the game.

“I think Carlos, he’s done as well as he possibly could have so far,” Alcaraz told the ATP Tennis
Radio podcast.

“He’s going to lose some time to time, like here in Shanghai, but he’s doing fantastic. He’s got a great game and obviously an unbelievable future ahead of him.

“Of course, with Rafa, Novak, myself and Murray, we all expect every generation to produce their best tennis every single week for some reason, but it’s hard to do that.

“Alcaraz is great. I mean, look, he’s still young and everything that he has achieved is fantastic. And not just on clay or just on hard. But also now winning Wimbledon against Novak in the final. That is no joke. I mean he didn’t need to really prove that point but that’s another super asterisk in his CV… mighty impressive.”

READ MORE: WATCH: Novak Djokovic’s training location revealed as he prepares to return to action

Djokovic suggested Alcaraz is a mix between himself, Federer and Nadal after he lost against the young Spaniard in the Wimbledon final, with that ultimate tribute sparking a great talking point in the game.

Now Federer has responded to Djokovic’s analysis, as he appeared to agree with the sentiments of the Serbian.

“I see a bit of the power on the forehand side, Rafa’s style a little bit,” he added of Alcaraz.

“Maybe also more the technique from me. Obviously, you see the drop shot, you see he’s using slice, he can play from the back like Rafa can.

“Then he’s got some defensive skills that rival Novak’s but Novak’s obviously at an elite level because when you do it for so many years, you stand alone basically. Like Rafa on clay.

“Maybe there’s a combination but it’s also not fair to say that because Carlos is Carlos, like Novak is Novak and Rafa is Rafa. I don’t like it when there are just too many comparisons. I like it when they stand alone.”

Alcaraz has a lot of winning to do before he can rival Federer, Nadal and Djokovic as the all-time greats of the game, but he is certainly earning praise from all the right places at the formative stages of his career.