Carlos Alcaraz turns 19 today. At an age when many still do not know what they want to be in life, he has it very clear. “My dream is to be number one,” he repeats. His early records announced something big, but what he pointed out in 2021 (first ATP title in Umagquarterfinals in the US Open with victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas, nextgen master…) has surpassed it at a devilish speed in 2022. If in the last edition of the Madrid Open fell 6-1 and 6-2 against Rafa Nadal the first time he faced his idol (on May 5), in the past Indian Wells had the 21-time Grand Slam champion on the ropes in the semifinals.
This course has already added the titles of Rio (ATP 500), the Miami Masters 1,000 (which no male Spanish tennis player had achieved) and the Godo (500). Successes that have led him to climb 110 positions in the ranking in one year until he is among the ten best of the circuit. Alcaraz, who defines himself as “a boy from the village”, has also made his debut in Davis cup. When after Nadal a period of drought was sighted, a spring of hope has sprouted from El Palmar, the district of Murcia where the new phenomenon was born. His strength, his head, his character, his volleys, his spontaneity, make him a magnet for fans. This is Alcaraz, from A to Z.
The Murcian’s weapon is from the same ‘house’ as Nadal’s. He signed with 10 years! I hire her from him and she’s wearing the Pure Aero VS precision racquet, which has one more string: speed and control. He does not use antivibration.
It was his great illusion. In January he traveled to Australia with the approved theorist. And when he returned, and before traveling to Rio, he gave nine practical classes at ‘Autoescuelas León’, near his house, and he got it.
Take great care of your diet. He likes sushi before games. A pasta dish with ambrosia and olive oil is also usually prepared. His team has instilled in him to eat “quality fats, proteins and carbohydrates”. Grilled fish, avocado or bananas are not lacking.
Alcaraz has grown in the Murcian district of El Palmar, with some 25,000 inhabitants. For what he claims to be “a village boy”. He trained there, at the Country Club where his father directs tennis classes.
Carlos is the second of four brothers. Álvaro (21 years old) sometimes serves as a sparring partner. Sergio (11) and Jaime (9) are the other children of Carlos Sr. and Virginia Garfia, a former employee in a shopping center.
Golf is Ferrero’s great passion (handicap 1), and he even caddyed for Sergio García after retiring. And he has passed it on to his pupil, with whom he has itches on the tours. After winning Miami, Alcaraz relaxed with the sticks.
Nadal said it after training with him for the first time in Australia 2021: “He is a very good boy and has extraordinary humility and capacity for work.” And Ferrero says: “He comes from a family that is extremely well educated in values.”
RAFA NADAL IDOL
“I want to be like Nadal, because he trains very hard and he really wants to.” At the age of 16, and on the slopes of the Rafa Nadal Academy where he won a tournament, Alcaraz has already made it clear. “If you compare me to him, I’m on the right track,” he says now.
JUAN CARLOS FERRERO
The former number one and Roland Garros champion began advising him in 2018, at the age of 15. Juanki, as he calls him, is also his friend. He trains at his Academia Equelite de Villena, where he lives in a bungalow.
The physical transformation of ‘Tarzan’ was made clear in January in Australia. He has gained muscle and has gone from 76 to 81 kg due to the physical work and development of him. But what his team wants is for his fiber to be explosive.
‘Los Lupas’ are Alcaraz’s gang in El Palmar. And he dedicated his triumph at the ATP 500 in Rio to them by making glasses with his hands. “It doesn’t have any special meaning, but it makes us laugh.”
On April 3, 2022, at the age of 18 years and 333 days, he became the youngest champion of the Miami Masters 1,000. No Spanish male tennis player had won in Florida. The explosion of him.
2021 was the year of the first times: first title (Umag), first confrontation with Nadal (lost 6-1 and 6-2 in Madrid), first five-set match in Australia, first five-set epic victory against a top- have (Tsitsipas) in a Grand Slam…
Since he was a child he has competed with the National Team: in 2018 he won the junior Davis Cup and in 2022 he made his debut with the ‘absolute’ in Marbella against Romania. The coronavirus prevented him from debuting in the 2021 Finals.
Alcaraz resembles Nadal in one thing: “I’m afraid of the dark.” Rafa didn’t turn off the lights to sleep… Another thing they share: order with the bottles. Alcaraz puts energy on the left and water on the right.
“He has evolved a lot on a mental level,” Ferrero says of him. He treats his weak points with the psychologist Isabel Balaguer. “I work a lot on emotional management, managing nerves at key moments.”
He has a great connection with his team of ten people: Ferrero, Albert Molina (agent), Toni Cascales (Equelite director), Balaguer (psychologist), Alberto Lledó and Álex Sánchez (physicist), Juanjo Moreno, Fran Rubio and Sergio Hernández (physios ) and Juanjo López (doctor).
Alcaraz is a fan of Real Madrid (like Ferrero), he was very excited to meet Karim Benzema (whom he asked for a photo at the AS Awards) and he does not hide that he would like to see Mbappé dressed in white. On April 30, he attended the Whites’ match against Espanyol (it was his first time at the Bernabéu), in which Nadal took the honorary kick-off.
It sounds incredible, but one of his pre-match routines is to take a 20-minute nap before hitting the court. At the NextGen Finals, the cameras caught him taking a snooze.
He entered the top ten of the ATP (9th) on April 25 after winning the Godó Trophy, culminating a rise of 110 places in a single year. Curiously, the same day that Nadal achieved it in 2005. The Murcian, with 18 years and 11 months. The Balearic, with 18 and 10.
At the age of 18 years and two months (just like Nadal), Alcaraz won his first ATP title in the 250 in Umag (Croatia), on dirt. He defeated Richard Gasquet … 35 years old by a double 6-2.
One of Charly’s best (and prettiest) weapons are volleys. Faced with the boredom of punches, imagination. In Miami he made 60 dropshots and won 55. In the final, he nailed 11 serve-volley plays, all effective. Magic.
Her favorite actor is Will Smith, who has played Ali or Richard Williams, the sisters’ father. His favorite movie, ‘Rocky’ and his song, the Italian colt soundtrack: ‘Eye of the tiger’.
The Masters for under 22s organized by the ATP to publicize its stars of the future, was dominated by Alcaraz already at 18. In the final in Milan he was crowned by defeating Sebastian Korda.
His grandfather, Carlos Alcaraz, like his father (he became runner-up in Spain for children) and like his grandson, was the first member of the Club de Campo tennis section. And he gave Charly the recipe for ‘the three C’s’: “Head, heart and balls”.
The Murcian, being the youngest, aspires to be the leader of those born between 1997 and 2012. The post-millennials of the circuit: Zverev, Tsitsipas, Berrettini, Ruud, Auger-Aliassime, Sinner, Hurkacz, Shapovalov…