Tennis Prose




May/22

8

Alcaraz Continues To Drop Jaws And Evolve Tennis

By Scoop Malinowski

Carlos Alcaraz is making the impossible be possible. This week he beat Nadal and Djokovic in the same clay court tournament, something even Roger Federer has never done. Then the 19 year old followed it up by crushing world no. 3 Zverev in the final 63 61.

Alcaraz now leads the ATP Tour with 28 match wins in 2022, one up on Tsitispas, three on Rublev and five on Kecmanovic. The ninth ranked boy wonder now has five ATP singles titles in possession.

Alcaraz didn’t face one break point vs Zverev, who he had lost both previous matches with last year in Acapulco and Vienna, both in straight routine sets. Remember, the coach of Alcaraz, Juan Carlos Ferrero, is the former coach of Zverev but those two parted ways a couple of years ago and the word is the short-lived combination did not create a harmonious, happy chemistry.

The win today emphasizes how much Alcazar has improved and strengthened in the last year. To solve how to beat Nadal, Djokovic and now Zverev so early in his career is only going to bolster his aura and intimidate the other ATP challengers.

“It feels great to be able to beat these players. To beat two of the best players in history and then Zverev, the world no. 3. He is a great player. I would say this is the best week of my life,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview post match. “I am 19 years old, which I think is the key to be able to play long and tough matches in a row. I am feeling great physically.”

It’s fascinating and frightening to consider how much better Alcaraz can become in the next 2-4 years… or beyond that.

The sport just witnessed the three greatest players in history produce unparalleled tennis magic for the last decade and a half – and now the next evolutionary stage of tennis could be something totally different but uniquely exciting andthrillig…. the all time mightiest monopoly of domination by any player?

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6 comments

  • MATT SEGEL · May 9, 2022 at 9:16 am

    It’s so great to see a player rise up like this. I was telling my son that if he wins Madrid he’s moved up to legendary status. I know it’s not a Grand Slam, but Barcelona Madrid, beating the top three seeds, on a sprained ankle etc…3 of the last four tournaments.

    The real question though is going to be an all time great (let’s say 6+ Grand Slams and 15+ Masters). This of course won’t be answered for a while and really will depend on how he handles fame and pressure.

    Zverev was Alcarez 6 years ago. He had the look of an all time great player. He has not handled the pressure well. Neither has Shapo, Felix, Stephanos, Rublez, Kyrgios, Nish, Dimitrov, (I am sure am forgetting some)

    So that is the fun part. I think he’s got it all, and I love the fact he is not 6’6″!

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 9, 2022 at 9:54 am

    Matt, Did you know Yevgeny Kafelnikov won two Grand Slams in singles, four in doubles, was no. 1, Olympic gold in 2000 but he never won a Masters Series title? I like the Alcaraz temperment better than younger Zverev, who though showed signs of greatness, he also could get too moany, whiney and negative. He never showed the aura of a guy who would be a dominant emperor, he was is more of a Safin, Kafelnikov… brief stint at the top, if he ever gets there. The Russians don’t seem to have that element in their psyche to be dominant kingpins, making the mega millions is enough. With Carlos, he has all the qualities to be the next “face of tennis.” Seems Russians don’t really care for that responsibility.

  • MATT SEGEL · May 9, 2022 at 10:46 am

    I did not know that. I took a little break from following tennis around that time. I have a 5 year or so gap (college etc)

    Bublik (who is 100% Russian) seems to be an example of playing for the money.

    Medvedev is close, but is such a one surface competitor.

    Rublev is close, but can’t summon the second serve bravery, and is a bit one dimensional.

    Khachenov…what happened to him! He doesn’t get enough free points on his serve I guess. Maybe he’s too slow.

    Thanks for the awesome tennis commentary. Such a lack of it on the internet

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 9, 2022 at 11:48 am

    Thanks Matt, Yes all the Russians seem content complacent, they don’t have that burning freaking obsession to be the best though the talent and physicality is there. Medvedev has the best shot but as soon as he got there, he behaved as if that was enough and he doesn’t want any more. Surely he got big bonuses from Lacoste and Technifibre for reaching no. 1. Marcelo Rios reached no. 1 in April 1998 (for six weeks) and got $2.5m in bonuses each from Nike and Yonex. Now over two decades later with even more money in tennis, I think it’s safe to estimate Medvedev got around $5m each in bonuses from Lacoste and Technifibre but it has not been reported. I only found out about the Rios $2.5m bonuses from working on my Rios book and the Nike executive I interviewed happened to mention it by chance. That info was not reported, it’s an inside scoop.

  • Douglas · May 9, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    Rick Macci says he’s never seen the footspeed on any tennis player like Carlos. And the softest hands for a power player its ridiculous.
    Hey Zeverev looked formidable but never as you say did the IMPOSSIBLE.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 9, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    Doug, I think Hewitt at his best moved a little better than Carlos but that’s hard to prove, Carlos is more explosive. There seems to be an establishment agenda to irritate and defy Zverev, wonder if it has anything to do with Zverev splitting with Team 8 Federer’s agency?

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