Spanish great on Carlos Alcaraz’s Wimbledon dream and a showdown with Novak Djokovic
Carlos Alcaraz heads into Wimbledon as the top seed after his stunning win at the Queen’s Club Championships, but he is not yet the complete player.
That’s the verdict of former world No 2 Alex Corretja, who told Tennis365 that his fellow Spaniard has areas to improve in his game before he is ready to beat Novak Djokovic in a Wimbledon final.
Speaking to this website at an ASICS event in Wimbledon, Corretja insisted he was not surprised by Alcaraz’s remarkable performances on grass courts as he won his first title on the surface last month.
Yet he believes there is more to come from the 20-year-old who is primed to be the new king of tennis when Djokovic’s reign comes to an end.
“Carlos is special. He is not good, he is special,” Corretja told Tennis365.
“When you are special, you are capable of doing things the others can’t. The way he moves is unbelievable.
“The way he hits the ball is unbelievable. His forehand is just huge, it’s out of this world and the happiness he brings to the game is very unique and difficult for the opponent.
“When you play, sometimes conditions are a little bit chilly, or it is too hot or too windy, but it seems with him, he accepts the situation.
“You need to accept what you have, what you get and what you feel. As soon as you accept that… I’m not sure if life is easier, but more acceptable.
“Novak has said this about accepting disappointment. That is what you have to do on the court. Not everything will go for you in a match and you know that. You accept it and make the best of what you have on the day.”
Alcaraz appears to be the complete player at a wonderfully youthful age, yet Corretja believes there is so much more to come.
“He will improve things,” he continued. “He will know how to play against Novak best-of-five without going all out.
“He understands he needs to change his tactics, maybe he won’t go all out. Maybe it is in his character to be very aggressive, but he will learn how to play this way in the fifth.
“This is still the start of the Alcaraz story. Okay, he is winning matches and tournaments at an amazing rate, but there is a lot more to come.”
Alcaraz and Djokovic are seeded to meet in the deciding match at the All England Club on July 16, but Corretja believes the young Spaniard may have a tough task getting to what could be a game-changing moment in the sport.
“It is a big step to say Carlitos will win Wimbledon this year, even though I say this is a special player,” he added.
“He has just won a big grass court event, he is No 1 in the world, he has won a lot of matches this year and so the expectations will always be big around him.
“If he plays Novak in the final, there is no doubt that he will not be the favourite, but every experience is important for Carlito at this point in his career, but I think he has got a very tough draw.
“He has some big obstacles to overcome before he gets to think about Novak, that’s for sure.
“He can do well at Wimbledon, of course. Whether he can go all the way way, I’m not so sure. If he does that, I will be very impressed.”
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