Carlos Alcaraz has stopped being, in a very short time, the young promise of Spanish tennis and the boy that the national sports press talks about to become a great tennis player who rubs shoulders with the best, and who is monopolizing the international sports press. On Friday he defeated the current world number three, Stefanos Tsitsipas, in the American Grand Slam, on the Arthur Ashe track, the most impressive stage of the circuit and in a vibrant match of the highest level. The uncertainty in the scoreboard was not resolved until the adjusted break of the fifth set, as is almost always the case in epic encounters.
The Murcia player has everything he needs to quickly aspire to the greatest sporting feats. His game is virtually seamless. He is a very complete tennis player, with a clean and easy technique that allows him to generate great shots from any position. He stands out above all his forehand, undoubtedly already one of the best on the circuit. His backhand, without being so decisive, is good and solid. It has a quite considerable service speed, since it exceeds 210 kilometers per hour without excessive difficulty. And his volley, although logically improvable, allows him to go to the net without precipitation.
It also has great physical power along with a good speed of movement, as well as the ability to follow the mandatory tactic of the current game to the letter: be the first to accelerate the shot. From the first hit, Carlos is determined to go after the point. And he can afford it since, to all of the above, we must add the decisive virtue, today, of being able to play at a very high speed without losing control of the situation.
And, as if all this were not enough, he shows an unbecoming maturity of his age and an ability to control his nerves only within the reach of a few.
Before Tsitsipas he displayed to the great delight of the public all the qualities he treasures. His game was aggressive, but it was not without subtlety; he supported his devastating blows from the back of the court with precise drops and clever uploads to the net; and he gave the Hellenic player no truce only in the fourth set, in which he accused the effort of the third and delivered it blank. An understandable downturn in a meeting that, not for that reason, ceased to be a real show.
When I analyze a player after a victory of this nature, the first question I ask myself is whether the tennis player in question has been forced to make extraordinary strokes to defeat his opponent, if he has needed to deploy a level that is hardly at his usual scope and if his victory responds, above all, to the fact of playing beyond his possibilities. In this game I never had that impression. Carlos, without a doubt, played a great game, but at no time did he leave me with the feeling that what I was seeing could not be repeated with much assiduity. That, for me, and glimpsing his future is what gives more value to the feat against the Greek.
I think that, in case someone had them, there are no longer doubts. Spanish tennis not only has a promising horizon; has Carlos Alcaraz who is not only the present but, probably, the player best positioned to succeed the members of the Big three on the world scene.
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