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Carlos Alcaraz has admitted that nobody will be able to emulate the success of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer despite being tipped as the successor to continue their legacy. The 19-year-old has been touted as the next big thing in men’s tennis, with many predicting he will be a future world No 1 and multi-Grand Slam champion, but Alcaraz has shot down comparisons to the Big Three.
Alcaraz has enjoyed a breakout season, winning four titles – including two Masters 1000s – and making his top five debut as a teenager. The Spaniard announced himself when he won the Miami Open back in April and backed up his success by winning in Barcelona and Madrid weeks later.
The world No 4’s success earned him huge praise and predictions for his future, with the likes of 22-time Grand Slam champion Nadal tipping him to be “a potential No 1 player and multi-Grand Slam winner without a doubt” back in March. The 19-year-old is expected to continue the legacy left by Nadal and his fellow Big Three rivals when they retire as the next dominant force in men’s tennis, but he has now shot down the comments.
“No, I don’t think that’s possible,” he said, speaking about his chances of becoming the next Djokovic, Nadal or Federer. The five-time title winner also claimed that nobody would be able to emulate the Big Three, as he explained that his comments didn’t come from a lack of confidence but from a place of admiration for all they had achieved.
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“It’s not a lack of confidence in my abilities or the abilities of the other players, but I don’t think that I or the other young players can repeat what they have done,” he continued, adding that it would be “an impossible mission”.
Alcaraz had earned himself a number of comparisons to fellow Spaniard Nadal when he emulated the 36-year-old’s achievements during the clay swing while still aged 18 – winning the Barcelona Open exactly 17 years to the day that a then-18-year-old Nadal won his first title at the ATP 500 event, and breaking into the top 10 the following day on what was again the same day that Nadal had done the same back in 2005.
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“In New York, I want to do what I failed to do in other Grand Slam tournaments, which is to get past the quarter-finals,” he said of his US Open goal, after reaching the last-eight in Flushing Meadows last year – his first of two Grand Slam quarter-final appearances.
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