Carlos Alcaraz


Spanish veteran Rafael Nadal is firmly in the GOAT debate alongside Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
Never one to steal undue limelight, Rafael Nadal has always been happy to pile praise on his peers and is often particularly complimentary toward long-time friend Roger Federer. So much so that he made an audacious prediction regarding his fellow tennis legend almost 12 years ago.

It was during the build-up to the 2011 Wimbledon final—while Federer-mania was still at its peak—that the Spaniard forecasted Federer’s mountain of major titles would never be topped. The Swiss star’s score stood at 16 at the time, while Nadal followed with 10 and a Wimbledon final debutant by the name of Novak Djokovic had a paltry two to his tally.

“The career of Roger is probably impossible to repeat – and I believe the number he has is not going to stop where it is,” said Nadal in July 2011, just prior to facing ‘Nole’ in that year’s decider at SW19. “He will have more chances to win more. It’s going to be strange if within three or four years one player wins more than him, and he’s the best ever. Probably that’s not gonna happen.”

It just so happened that 2011 proved to be a turning point for Federer and the first time in nine seasons that he failed to win at least one Grand Slam (dating back to 2003). The formation of ‘The Big Three’ meant many fans’ ‘GOAT’ went from winning 16 majors across an eight-year span to clinching just four more crowns over the following eight.
Fast-forward to today and we now know just how wrong Nadal was. Not only has 21-time winner Djokovic caught up to overtake Federer’s total of 20 Grand Slam awards, but Nadal himself has ruled the roost since last year with 22 of his own.

It was Djokovic’s expulsion from last year’s Australian Open that gave the Majorcan his chance to climb ahead in the title stakes before claiming a two-trophy lead at Roland Garros. Nole can climb back level in Melbourne as he prepares to make a much-anticipated return to the field, however, while Nadal is the top seed Down Under after world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz was forced out due to injury.

While Federer’s late record may be a thing of the past, it’s a testament to his talent that one of his equals was quite so convinced his standard at the four majors would never be bested. There was a time when ‘Rog’ looked particularly peerless at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, scooping up 11 of the 14 titles on offer in London and New York between 2003 and 2009.
It’s safe to say Nadal and Djokovic have also found their ‘happy places’, each boasting record title hauls at the French Open and Australian Open, respectively. The former sealed his 14th success in Paris last year, while the latter makes his comeback in Melbourne this month seeking a 10th title, which would also bring him back level with Nadal on 22 Grand Slams apiece.

There’s little telling how Federer might have galvanised his legacy further had injuries not hampered the latter half of his career quite so badly. Plenty of pundits and fans alike will still consider him the game’s ‘GOAT’, but Nadal and Djokovic have each accomplished enough to put themselves firmly in that frame.

With his victory at the US Open, Carlos Alcaraz won the first Grand Slam tournament of his career and became the youngest world number one tennis player in history. Carlos’s achievements are visible, as they show the great growth of Murcian talent.

Alcaraz beat Sinner and Tiafoe with great battles and won a first round match in a Slam final, beating Casper Ruud without much concern. Shortly after the victory, the Spanish tennis player admitted that he had been lucky in the absence of former world number one Novak Djokovic.

On this Carlos said: “The Big Three? I would like to play against Roger Federer and in general I want to beat a Big Three during the Grand Slam events. To be the best you have to beat the best.” Novak Djokovic missed the US Open due to the vaccine regulations and the question that arises in the United States: without a complete vaccination course you cannot enter the United States.

Now there is great curiosity to see how and when Novak will return and when he will be able to face the new number one. From October 29 to November 6, 2022, the Paris-Bercy Masters 1000 will be held, the last Masters 1000 of the season.

The French tournament recently published a publicity video of the event and Matteo Berrettini, Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic appear briefly in the short click. The Serbian champion will be able to closely observe the evolution of the new world number one and Grand Slam champion, Carlos Alcaraz.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic pays tribute to Serena
Novak Djokovic paid tribute to Serena Williams in light of her retirement with some kind words for the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion. “My probably favorite memory of us together is winning Wimbledon and then dancing at the champions’ dinner,” Djokovic said in a video shared by the ATP tour.

“It was a blast, it was one of the best moments I had on the tour with you. Thank you so much for everything you have done for our beautiful sport,” the Serbian player said. “Your contribution and your legacy on and off the court will live forever.

I value and cherish our relationship that goes on for many years and I was hoping that this moment will never arrive when you announced your retirement, and here we are. You can be very very proud of what you have achieved and what you left behind.

You have inspired so many different generations, not only tennis players but athletes around the world,” Djokovic added.

Alcaraz and Fernandez were joined by Félix Auger-Aliassime to debut the new line of racquets before the US Open began last week.

The new Pure Aero has officially arrived. In a launch event with Babolat brass and three of its brand-name endorsers—Carlos Alcaraz, Felix Auger Aliassime and Leylah Fernandez—the 8th edition of the famed power and spin frame made its debut. The festivities took place a few days ahead of the start of the US Open at Court 16—an innovative tennis learning facility in Long Island City where the touring pros hit with dozens of aspiring players.

Beyond the star power, the other headliner of the afternoon was the updated Aero. Babolat wanted to do something different with this generation by giving each member its own distinctive playability. Rather than simply adjust the weight and balance, the frames have specs and technologies that make them unique and intended for a particular type playing style.

Babolat considers Pure Aero users “Strong Spin” players. These are aggressive ball strikers who use big cuts and lots of spin to push opponents around and seize any opportunity to finish a point. This meant giving the new version better command over the outgoing model with a tighter string pattern, smaller grommets and a new technology (flax fibers) which replaces the previous vibration filtration for enhanced feel.

“We wanted to work on the power and control ratio,” says Olivier Carlier, Babolat’s Global Marketing Manager (Expert Racquets). “The 2013 Aero is somewhat renowned, so we went to that type of string pattern. We decreased the flexibility in the shaft as well to allow a bit more control compared to the current racquet.”

Leylah Fernandez celeb

Alcaraz was on hand alongside fellow Babolat athletes Félix Auger-Aliassime and Leylah Fernandez to celebrate the 2023 Aero line launch in New York City.

But the changes are not uniform even for players within the Strong Spin segment. For instance in addition to being lighter, the Pure Aero Team still has a more open string pattern, the previous SMAC vibration dampening at 3 and 9 o’clock—however, it has the flax fibers in the handle—and a stiffer flex.

“We noticed that players using the Pure Aero at 300g have more natural strength,” says Carlier. “The Pure Aero Team, Pure Aero Lite, it’s not the same category of players. The sweet spot is a bit bigger, the string pattern is a bit more open, so the racquet can generate more of the power and the ball rotation itself.”

Then there’s the “Fast Spin” category of players best-suited to new Pure Aero 98, which comes out in January. With its smaller head size, heavier weight (305g) and thinner beam it’s designed for aggressive players who prefer to move inside the baseline and use angles and precision to dictate points. Compared to Pure Aero VS it replaced, the 98 has flax fibers at 3 and 9 o’clock—but not in the handle like the standard Pure Aero—and a bit lower flex for better control.

“We brought the flax fibers for the feel and filtration,” says Carlier. “And the sound. The sound is very unique. Top players down to club players have noticed at impact the feeling is very special and the sound is part of it.”

One of those players is Alcaraz. He’s been using a Pure Aero for the entirety of his short professional career. He sees this latest 98 as improvement over the older model.

“I would say everything has improved,” says the No. 3 seed. “More spin, more control, more velocity. I have more confidence in every shot.”

Leylah Fernandez

Carlos Alcaraz hits with young players at Court 16

Alcaraz claims he doesn’t do much customization to his Pure Aero 98. He says there’s really no difference between it and what you’d find on a store shelf. Just strings it up with RPM Blast 16g at 25/23 kilos (55/50 lbs) and lets it rips.

On the other hand, Auger Aliassime also uses the Pure Aero 98, but his model is more unique. It’s the same version he’s been using since 2017 and has different playability from the in-line model.

“As you can see, the frame is a little bit different, customized for me,” says last year’s Open semifinalist. “There are many different versions of the Pure Aero, but this is the one that fits me the best. It gets me the best compromise between power and precision. It’s different from what’s on the shelf or what Rafa’s playing with or Carlos.”

Auger Aliassime also adds several grams of lead tape under his bumper—the racquet is approximately 338g unstrung—and strings with RPM Rough at 25/24 kilos (55/52 lbs). Although he hasn’t wavered from his frame of choice for several years, he is more willing to tinker with his strings.

“Honestly, after every year I try different strings, and after the last season I felt like I wanted to get more grip on the slice, or the kick serve or the volley,” says Auger Aliassime. “Having little cracks or edges gets a little more spin, a little more grip on the ball.”

The final class of players Babolat wanted to address is the “Heavy Spin” category. After all, that’s what the franchise is known for. These are players who do business from deep in the court and control rallies with power and excessive spin. Much like a highly decorated Spanish player who first put the Pure Aero on the map. For that reason, there will be a pair of frames in honor of the current Grand Slam King, one with his exact specs.

“We have a Rafa racquet coming that’s dedicated to extreme power and spin,” says Carlier. “With more of the weight and stiffness in the head you can get more ball rotation and power. It’s coming soon and completes the collection.”

Expect the Pure Aero Rafa to hit stores in March 2023. Word has it, the cosmetic will be something to see. In the meantime, the new Pure Aero is currently available at tennis specialty retailers.

Carlos Alcaraz is ready to break more ground at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers as he looks to build on his whirlwind year in Montreal.

The second-seeded Spaniard, who was ranked outside the Top 50 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings last August, will be targeting a Tour-leading fifth title and third ATP Masters 1000 crown of a dream season on debut in Canada.

“I grew up so fast. To be the second seed at a Masters 1000 is amazing and I didn’t expect this at the beginning of the year. Honestly I still can’t believe it right now,” Alcaraz said during his pre-tournament press conference on Sunday. “It is something I wanted at the start of the year, when I was aiming to be at the top and be one of the favourites to win one of the most important tournaments.”

The 19-year-old, who will face Tommy Paul or Vasek Pospisil in his opening match in Quebec, has enjoyed a remarkable rise. Last month, he became the second-youngest player in the 21st century to crack the Top 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, with only countryman Rafael Nadal reaching the landmark faster.

Now, competing in his first hard-court event since he triumphed in Miami in April, Alcaraz will be looking to adjust to the conditions in Montreal as he plays on his third surface since July. The World No. 4 reached the fourth round on grass at Wimbledon last month, before he advanced to consecutive clay-court finals in Hamburg and Umag, leaving him 42-7 on the season.

“It is tough to change surfaces quickly. In two months, I have played on three surfaces and it is tough. But I consider myself a player who adjusts to a new surface very fast,” Alcaraz said. “The transition from clay to hard is tough, but I did specific work to adjust to hard court and I have come here a lot of days before to get used to this court. [I have been] playing points and sets with the best players.”

Carlos Alcaraz

Alcaraz revealed he has been enjoying his time in Montreal since his arrival and has been excited by the support he has received from fans.

The 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion, who sits second in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin, is looking forward to competing in front of the crowds on his debut in Canada.

“I have felt so much love from the people,” Alcaraz said. “That is amazing for me. It is my first time and I didn’t expect that. There are lots of people and it is amazing to have the support and the love of the people here.”

Carlos Alcaraz is definitely not having the best moment of the 2022 season and his entire early career. For the first time since becoming a stable professional tennis player in the ATP Tour, the Spaniard has lost two consecutive finals in tournaments also close to each other on clay, the surface probably more congenial to him and on which he has already achieved incredible results already at the age of 19.

The Iberian is reflecting on the mistakes made during the final acts of the competitions in Hamburg and Umag, lost respectively to Lorenzo Musetti and Jannik Sinner. A situation that has never happened before and at the moment the real obstacles of the very young player seem to be the Italians: of the 7 overall, 4 defeats accused by the top 5 due to the Italians.

The athlete trained by coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, after this moment of break from the field given the two weeks in which he has been engaged on clay, will prepare to fly to the United States of America. The Masters 1000 in Montreal and Cincinnati await him very soon and then the US Open, all events in which he will want to be among the protagonists.

Carlos Alcaraz

The impressive record

Alcaraz achieved a truly surprising milestone recently, which allowed him to enter history again. The Spaniard is the first player of the entire tour, even going back in time, to have managed to win 75 games of the first 100 official in the major circuit.

Nobody like him and this record underlines how the Iberian is one of the most talented guys, with the future but also the present (almost) all of him. To approach this record of the 19 year old were Andy Roddick at 73 and John McEnroe on the podium with 72 wins.

At 70 stopped Michael Chang, Mats Wilander and Andre Agassi. The first of the Big Three is Rafael Nadal with 67 statements; Novak Djokovic behind at 65, while Andy Murray reached the figure of 63. Very far behind Roger Federer with ‘only’ 51 wins.

Carlos Alcaraz 75
Andy Roddick 73
John McEnroe 72
Michael Chang 70
Mats Wilander 70
André Agassi 70
Rafael Nadal 67
Novak Djokovic 65
Andy Murray 63
Roger Federer 51


After opening his Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag campaign with a pair of comfortable straight-sets wins, Carlos Alcaraz’s title defence was given a stern semi-final test on Saturday evening at the ATP 250 event in Croatia.

The top seed prevailed 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in an absorbing #NextGenATP battle against Giulio Zeppieri to reach a Tour-leading sixth final of 2022. Alcaraz overcame a nasty roll of his right ankle in the second set before triumphing in a dramatic decider as Zeppieri struggled with cramp soon after reeling off three games in a row to level at 3-3.

“It’s amazing to be in a final here again,” said Alcaraz in his on-court interview. “I enjoy playing here in Umag and I’m really happy with the win today.”

Carlos Alcaraz

With the win, Alcaraz rose above Stefanos Tsitsipas to No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings — setting him up to reach a new career-high on Monday — and improved his record in Umag to 8-0. He will face another Italian, second seed Jannik Sinner or qualifier Franco Agamenone, in Sunday’s championship match. It will also be Alcaraz’s 100th tour-level match, and the 19-year-old was confident his ankle would be in good shape to compete.
“At the moment it is good,” said Alcaraz. “I don’t feel too much right now. Let’s see tonight or tomorrow morning, but I am going to say I will be ready for the final.

“It would be amazing in my 100th match to get the win, and of course it is amazing to be No. 4 on Monday. It’s something great for me, but right now I am just focussed on the final.”

A close encounter in the Croatian heat saw some spectacular exchanges between Alcaraz and Zeppieri, with both crushing heavy balls from the baseline and enjoying plenty of success in return games. Alcaraz converted six from 15 break points and Zeppieri four from 13, as both players stayed aggressive throughout.

After Zeppieri rallied to level in the deciding set, however, the Italian’s physical exertions in Umag, where he was playing his fifth three-set match across qualifying and main draw competition, appeared to catch up with him. Alcaraz was clinical in reeling off the three games he needed for a two-hour, 56-minute win.

Until that point Zeppieri, roared on by a large contingent of Italian fans, went toe-to-toe with Alcaraz in a performance that belied the fact he had not won an ATP Tour match prior to this week. Despite just falling short in Saturday’s semi-final, the 20-year old’s run in Umag lifts the Italian 33 spots to No. 135 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

CARLOS ALCARAZ has enjoyed a storming year on court in 2022.

Carlos Alcaraz has admitted he did not expect to enjoy such a successful 2022 season, describing his achievement of reaching 40 wins as “crazy”. The Spanish teenager has been on a remarkable run of form that has put him in the same bracket as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the highest win percentages this season.

The 19-year-old claimed another easy straight-sets victory over Norbert Gombos in round two of the Croatia Open Umag on Thursday, beating the Slovakian 6-2, 6-3 to take his record to the season to 40 wins and six defeats.


Only Stefanos Tsitsipas has won more matches in the calendar year (41) and the Greek has played nine matches more than Alcaraz, who has been in sensational form. Such a record is not only a remarkable feat for a player of Alcaraz’s youth, but the world No 5 is now performing at the same current level as Nadal and Djokovic.

Nadal has won 35 of his 38 matches this season, putting him at a win rate of 92 per cent, while Alcaraz is in hot pursuit on 86.7 per cent. That is higher than Djokovic, who has won 23 from his 28 ties and is at 82 per cent.

And the youngster opened on his achievement, saying he would have struggled to believe that he could win 40 matches in only his second season on the ATP Tour.

“No, if you had told me in January I would have called you crazy. It is a formidable goal,” Alcaraz said.

His victory in Croatia was his 25th win of the year on clay, while he has suffered only three defeats on the surface. And it is easy to see why comparisons have been made to his idol and fellow countryman Nadal, who has famously only ever lost three matches at the Roland Garros with an astonishing 112 victories.

While it would be unfair to expect Alcaraz to get anywhere near Nadal’s haul of 14 French Open trophies, his record of four career titles – including at the Miami Open and Barcelona Open – exhibits that the Spaniard has star quality.

He needs just two more wins to reach 75 in his career and doing so would also help him climb to fourth in the world, which would represent his best ranking to date. And while Alcaraz explained that it gives him an extra push to win the tournament, he refused to underestimate his quarter-final opponent Facundo Bagnis.

“Yes, of course, that’s one more motivation,” he said when asked about reaching No 4. “I didn’t know the final would be enough, I thought it would be necessary to win the tournament. But it certainly gives me more motivation.

“Facundo will play very aggressive. He is an expert on clay, he did very well in the Challengers. He will surely play his best tennis and I want to play at my best level. It will be very complicated, and it will be a different match than the one against Gombos.”

Clay and hard courts take center stage this week on the ATP Tour, hosting Top 20 stars across three ATP 250 tournaments spread across two continents. Reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz heads the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag, while Dominic Thiem will be one of the big draws at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel.

In the United States, John Isner will chase his seventh title on the hard court of the Atlanta Open. FIVE THINGS TO SEE IN UMAG 1) Alcaraz is the current champion: Umag has great memories for Carlos Alcaraz, who lifted his first title in this ATP 250 last year.

The Spaniard, who was No. 73 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings when he won the trophy 12 months ago, will now top the field as the top seed, having contested the final in Hamburg against Lorenzo Musetti. At 19 years old, this Monday he will debut in the Top 5, and this year he debuted in the ATP Masters 1000 category with the titles in Miami and Madrid.

2) Sinner is chasing his first title in 2022: Jannik Sinner will be competing for the first time since he reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in Umag. The 20-year-old Italian has reached the quarter-finals six times this season but has yet to add to his tally of five ATP Tour titles this season.

Sinner, who reached the second round in his tournament debut in 2019, will face either Jaume Munar or Mikael Ymer in his debut. 3) Baez Follows His Upline: Sebastian Baez is enjoying the best season of his career. The Argentine lifted his first trophy on the clay of Estoril, while in Bastad he reached the final earlier this month, where he lost to compatriot Francisco Cerúndolo in the final.

Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz is a young star

Goran Ivanisevic, who is Djokovic’s current coach, spoke about Carlos Alcaraz during a recent interview with Nova TV and also highlighted the Big 3’s greatness. “I don’t need to waste any words on everything that Alcaraz has done this year,” said Ivanisevic.

“He is impressive, everyone predicts that he might be the best of all time, but it’s hard to predict because Djokovic, Nadal and Federer have done a lot,” he added. Speaking ahead of the start of the ATP Crotia Open in Umag, the Croatian former player also stated that Italy’s Jannik Sinner will join Alcaraz among the future greats of the sport.

“When I see the draw, we certainly have the future number one in the world, Alcaraz, as well as Sinner, who will be one of the leading tennis players in the world,” Ivanisevic said further.

Despite losing to Jannik Sinner in the fourth round on Sunday, Carlos Alcaraz believes that the grass-court experience he has gained at Wimbledon will greatly benefit him in the future.

The 19-year-old Spaniard, who was making just his second appearance at The Championships, downed Jan-Lennard Struff, Tallon Griekspoor and Oscar Otte as he brought his all-court game to the lawns in London.

“I felt really good here at Wimbledon playing on grass,” Alcaraz said in his post-match press conference. “I got a lot of experience playing on grass. Now I’m thinking that I could be a great player on grass. Next year I hope to play some tournaments before Wimbledon to adapt my game to get more used to playing here. But I would say I’m going to be a great player here on grass.”

Alcaraz’s clash against Sinner on Centre Court pitted two of the brightest talents on the ATP Tour against each other. In a heavy-hitting clash, it was the 19-year-old Italian who advanced in the youngest match (in terms of combined age) at Wimbledon in the fourth round or later since 17-year-old Boris Becker defeated 21-year-old Henri Leconte in the quarter-finals in 1985.

Alcaraz is excited by the prospect of a long-running rivalry with Sinner, with the former Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champions now locked at 1-1 in their ATP Head2Head series.

“I hope so,” Alcaraz said when asked about a rivalry with Sinner. “I’m going to try to be one of the best tennis players in the world for many years. Obviously Jannik is one of the best tennis players in the world as well. For sure he’s going to be in the top for many years.

“I hope to have a good rivalry with him. We hope to fight for the best tournaments in the world and the best moments in the world together.”

Carlos Alcaraz

Alcaraz has enjoyed a standout 2022. The 19-year-old has captured a joint Tour-leading four titles, including two ATP Masters 1000 crowns, while in April he became the youngest player to crack the Top 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings since Rafael Nadal in 2005.

However, the Spaniard admitted he struggled to find his best level when needed against Sinner, with his nerves playing a part in a disappointing afternoon.

“[At the] start [I] was really nervous. Playing on Centre Court is not easy for me,” said Alcaraz, who is 35-5 on the season. “Jannik handled it better than me, the nerves and the pressure. I was trying to get better, trying to think [about] what was happening… I was struggling a lot with my serve and couldn’t return well.

“After the third set I had chances to break to be up in the fourth, but I couldn’t take the chances. I think the second break point he had, he broke me. It was tough to come back in the fourth being a break down. I couldn’t take the chances. That’s tough.”

Daniil Medvedev remains the world number one

Carlos Alcaraz was confirmed on Monday as the youngest player to break into the ATP top five since Rafael Nadal after the teenager reached the Hamburg final over the weekend.

The 19-year-old Spaniard is the youngest man to achieve the feat since his illustrious compatriot first climbed into the top five in 2005 while still 18.

Alcaraz failed to win the clay-court title in Germany, though, losing to Italian youngster Lorenzo Musetti on Sunday despite saving five match points.

Musetti rose 31 places to 31st in the rankings and is now set to be seeded for the US Open, which starts on August 29.

Daniil Medvedev remains the world number one, with Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic seventh after the grass-court Grand Slam tournament was stripped of ranking points for banning Russian and Belarusian players.

ATP top 20:

Daniil Medvedev 7,775 pts

Alexander Zverev (GER) 6,850

Rafael Nadal (ESP) 6,165

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 5,045

Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) 4,895 (+1)

Casper Ruud (NOR) 4,890 (-1)

Novak Djokovic (SRB) 4,770

Andrey Rublev 3,575

Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 3,445

Jannik Sinner (ITA) 3,185

Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 3,025 (+1)

Taylor Fritz (USA) 2,960 (+1)

Cameron Norrie (GBR) 2,928 (-2)

Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 2,430 (+1)

Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 2,325 (-1)

Marin Cilic (CRO) 2,130

Reilly Opelka (USA) 2,055

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 1,740

Gael Monfils (FRA) 1,615 (+1)

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 1,600 (-1)