Carlos Alcaraz tries not to get ‘taken by the hype’ and names players who could be his big rivals

Carlos Alcaraz hands on head Credit: Alamy

Carlos Alcaraz hands on head Credit: Alamy

Carlos Alcaraz remains a ‘very down-to-earth person’ despite winning the US Open and becoming world No. 1 and the teenager insists ‘I still have a lot of work ahead of me’.

After his breakthrough season in 2021 which saw him win his first singles title on the ATP Tour and move from the top 100 to the top 40 in the ATP rankings, Alcaraz has stepped up a gear this year.

He started the year at No. 32, but by the end of May had hit a career-high No. 6 after winning four tournaments – including two ATP Masters 1000 titles. Even better was to come as in September he won his first Grand Slam, the US Openand he became world number 1 thanks to this result.

Naturally, he’s become one of the hottest properties in tennis, but in an interview with the 19-year-old insists on keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

“The situation has changed, but not my life. I still have the same family, the same friends, the same team,” he said. “That’s why I’m still the same person and the same player who still wants to improve and train hard.

He added: “I try not to get too caught up in it. [the hype] and don’t think about it too much. I see myself as a very down-to-earth person, that’s important to me. I love to play tennis. I want to enjoy tennis and win tournaments.

After his success in New York, his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero felt there was still plenty of room for improvement as he was yet to reach his peak.

Asked where he can improve, the Spaniard replied: “Everywhere. I can improve anywhere. Only if you work on yourself every day, you might one day belong to the greats.

“I think Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have shown that. It’s no different with me. I train every day to improve. Mentally, physically, but also technically. I’m only 19 and I still have a lot of work ahead of me.

Many believe that Alcaraz will dominate tennis for the next decade, but there are a few other youngsters who have also got their hands in the past few years.

“There are a lot of good young players,” said the teenager. “It is difficult to say who will be the dominant players in the next few years.

“Of course, I have in mind Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev, against whom I have already played incredible matches. But also Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud, even if they are not so young anymore. There are really a lot of players with great potential.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic on Carlos Alcaraz: ‘He deserves to be No.1, but I’m sure Rafael Nadal will try to dethrone him’

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