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Carlos Alcaraz, Just 19, Has His Eye on a Grand Slam Title

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ROQUEBRUNE-CAP-MARTIN, France — Carlos Alcaraz of Spain was walking to a series of television interviews on the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters here last month when something stopped him in his tracks: A Maserati MC20 on display.

Cars have turn into a passion for Alcaraz, regardless that he didn’t obtain his driver’s license until this 12 months, well past his 18th birthday. The 15-minute test, Alcaraz admitted, was “really, really tough. I used to be really nervous, and I used to be sweating.”

In the case of selecting his own dream automobile, Alcaraz said he would shun a sports automobile for a more practical sport-utility vehicle, even when it were the $200,000 Lamborghini Urus. With greater than $5 million in profession prize money, in addition to income from endorsement deals, he can have whatever automobile he wants.

On the court, Alcaraz revs his own engine by bellowing and pumping his fists after hard-won points. He can quickly cover the court each side to side and from behind the baseline to the web. His shot selection is staggering, with drop shots hit so deftly that opponents are left to stare in disgust.

A 12 months ago, Alcaraz hovered on the verge of the highest 100 men’s players on this planet and was forced to play three qualifying matches to achieve the principal draw of the French Open. This 12 months, he enters the event with a career-high No. 6 rating after winning 4 ATP titles within the last 4 months.

Along with his win in Barcelona on April 24, Alcaraz became the youngest player to crack the world’s top 10 since his countryman and idol, Rafael Nadal, did so by winning the identical tournament, on the identical day, in 2005. Alcaraz followed it up by winning his second ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid — his first was the Miami Open in April — becoming the primary player to beat Nadal and Novak Djokovic back to back on clay. Heading into the French Open, Alcaraz has a 28-3 record on the season.

While focused and animated on court, Alcaraz, who turned 19 on May 5, is poised beyond his years. He wasn’t even rattled when his luggage went missing when he returned home to Spain from Miami. In Monte Carlo, he moved across a line of television cameras, offering similar quotes to every. And he never stopped smiling.

The next conversation has been edited and condensed.

You’ve been in comparison with Nadal, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. Which suggests essentially the most to you?

Obviously Rafa. He’s Spanish, I grew up watching his matches, and he was my idol since I used to be a child.

We’ve seen others described as the brand new Nadal who couldn’t handle the pressure. How are you holding up?

Everybody knows who’s Rafa and what he has achieved in tennis, so I’m trying to not think that I’m the brand new Nadal. I’m just attempting to be Carlos Alcaraz. If I make pressure on myself attempting to be Rafa Nadal and win 21 Grand Slams, it’s really tough, and in the long run it’s dangerous to myself.

Last 12 months you said your goal was to make the highest 20, and also you’ve already surpassed that. What’s next?

At the top of last 12 months I said my goal was to win an ATP 500, then a Masters 1000. I did each of those, so now I’m attempting to win a Grand Slam and qualify for the ATP Finals.

Your coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, told you to not be in a rush to get to the highest. You haven’t listened. What’s he telling you now?

He’s telling me to remain calm, to do the things that I already do, to follow my way. Don’t take into consideration this tournament or the highest five. Just stay level and be the identical person who I’ve been this past 12 months.

You and Iga Swiatek, the brand new women’s No. 1, have each had great success at a young age. Have you ever talked to her?

Not likely. I wrote to congratulate her after she won the Miami Open, but she didn’t respond. I don’t have her number, so I wrote on Instagram. I believe she received 1,000,000 messages.

I don’t know if you happen to’ve seen “King Richard,” the biopic concerning the father of Venus and Serena Williams, but who would you wish to play you within the Carlos Alcaraz story?

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but [Leonardo] DiCaprio.

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