Carlos Alcaraz’s game has been likened to that of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in a huge compliment to the 19-year-old. Patrick Mouratoglou shared the world No 1’s ability to draw on the best traits of the Big Three and explained why Alcaraz’s ability was “unheard of”.
Alcaraz has enjoyed a hugely successful breakout season, starting the year by winning two Masters titles in Miami and Madrid, and two ATP 500s in Rio and Barcelona. He was ranked down at No 32 in the world when the year began and slowly ticked off the top 10 and top five milestones, finally reaching world No 1 when he won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open.
The 19-year-old became the first teenage Major winner since Nadal in 2005 and the youngest No 1 in ATP history, and it appears his unique game is the reason for his success as a top coach shared parallels between Alcaraz and each of the Big Three. “He combines the qualities of the three greatest players of all time,” Serena Willia’s ex-coach Mouratoglou told Tennis Majors.
“I think the one his game is closest to is Federer. Like him, he’s super aggressive and super creative, always trying to do something with the ball. The speed with which he is able to go from the back to the inside of the court, that’s pure Roger.”
While he thought the six-time title winner resembled Federer’s playing style the most, the Frenchman also picked up on similarities with Nadal and Djokovic. Mouratoglou continued: “At the same time, he has the counter-attacking qualities of Djokovic, and he can play long rallies with a lot of spin, like Nadal. To top it off, he serves very well for his size, and he returns very well.”
And it appears that the current coach of Simona Halep and Holger Rune believes Alcaraz could be even greater than the Big Three, as he shared the part of the teenager’s game that had been “unheard of” before. “His game combines incredible power and an incredible touch,” he said.
“Normally, we have one or the other. He has both. And I think it’s unheard of at this point. In the same way that I’ve never seen a 19-year-old player so complete.” While Alcaraz has received huge praise and lived up to his expectations this season, he has somewhat struggled since becoming No 1 in the world.
The Spaniard lost his first match as the world No 1 to Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime during his country’s Davis Cup tie. He then beat Soonwoo Kwon when Spain faced Korea but lost in the first round of his first tournament after winning the US Open, going down to David Goffin in Astana. He will next compete at the ATP 500 in Basel from Monday.