Carlos Alcaraz cements himself as the hottest prospect in tennis with the first Masters 1000 title of his career

On Sunday, 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz won the Miami Open, beating Casper Ruud in the final to become the tournament’s youngest-ever winner in its 37-year history.

After winning his first Masters 1000 title, Alcaraz was congratulated by his country’s most famous tennis player – 21-time Grand Slam winner Nadal, who earned his nickname ‘King of Clay’ due to his dominance on the red stuff at Roland Garros.
“Congratulations Carlitos on your historic triumph in Miami,” said Nadal wrote on twitter. “The first of many to come, for sure.”

Alcaraz was also praised by Spain’s King Felipe VI.

“I was more nervous [for] that call than the match,” said a smiling Alcaraz after winning the Miami Open.

“It’s quite amazing that the King of Spain congratulates you on the hard work you put in every day and on your victory. It’s something you never thought you’d receive, a Spanish royal reputation. It is amazing.”

Influence of coach Juan Carlos Ferrero

With Nadal and Roger Federer – two of the greatest tennis players of all time – Alcaraz is getting old to fill their big shoes.
“The answer to the question ‘What happens when Federer and Nadal retire?’ Carlos Alcaráz”, tweeted Tennis commentator David Law.

Alcaraz defeated world No. 8 Ruud 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 52 minutes in the final at Hard Rock Stadium to move up to No. 11 in the world rankings.

The Spanish teenager is coached by compatriot and former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Originally, Ferrero had not been to the Miami Open due to the recent death of his father but surprised Alcaraz by arriving ahead of Sunday’s final.

They first started working together in 2018 and Ferrero admitted it didn’t take long for him to realize Alcaraz was something special.

“I remember when he was training with some players, they were a bit higher in the rankings than him, he was 16 or 17 and he was able to adapt his game to the level of the other players,” said Ferrero.

“It means he has something and will keep working on it and keep working on it every day. So his potential was there, and only I was [there] to let it flow and play and keep things on track.

“So it doesn’t surprise me at all, but of course it was very, very fast and very fast, so not easy to do.”

And after becoming the third youngest Masters 1000 champion after Michael Chang and Nadal, Alcaraz praised the influence Ferrero had on him on and off the pitch.

Alcaraz reacts against Ruud in the final.
“Juan Carlos [is a] a very important person to me,” he said. “On the professional side and on the personal side, he helps me a lot on both sides. When we are together we will talk about everything in life, everything in our sport, including football.

“Juan Carlos, I also see him as a coach and a friend, so I can talk to him about anything.”

The win continues a stellar year for Alcaraz – now made up of 18 wins and just two losses – and firmly entrenches itself as the hottest prospect in tennis. Carlos Alcaraz cements himself as the hottest prospect in tennis with the first Masters 1000 title of his career

Jake Nichol

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