Rafael Nadal’s former coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, has anointed Carlos Alcaraz as the player to take over from the “Big Three” – Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and his nephew. The trio have dominated the game for almost the last two decades, but are now slowly but surely seeing some of the younger players come to the fore.
Alcaraz recently beat Nadal and Djokovic in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively on his way to the title at the Madrid Masters. It was the second Masters 1000 title for the 19-year-old sensation, who has been dubbed the best player in the world at the moment by the Serb and Alexander Zverev.
Uncle Toni, as Nadal’s former coach is fondly called, not only feels Alcaraz will take over from the “Big Three” but also named him as one of the favourites to win the French Open title at Roland Garros this year. The illustrious coach feels the young Spaniard will be competing at the highest level for a number of years to come.
“We have many years left of a great Alcaraz,” Toni Nadal said, as quoted by the Daily Express . “I already said that he was the best positioned to replace players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who are already 40, 35 and 34 years old. He added: “He will be one of the favourites at Roland Garros. We have many years left to enjoy Carlos.”
The 61-year-old, who now divides his time between the Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy in Mallorca, and as the coach of Canadian star Felix Auger Aliassime, praised Alcaraz’s playing style. The Spaniard feels the 19-year-old has an all round game, that will help him win many tournaments going forward.
“Alcaraz has been demonstrating his potential in each tournament he participates in, in which he would highlight the speed with which he manages to generate power in each of his shots,” he added. “It is impressive, but apart from that, a very complete tennis player, very fast, practically plays very well, and has it all.”
Alcaraz pulled out of the ongoing Masters event in Rome owing to a minor injury, but is expected to return for the French Open that gets underway on May 22 at Roland Garros. There is a very big possibility that he could play his idol and former world number one Nadal at some stage of the tournament.