Carlos Alcaraz has been under a “huge mental and physical demand” that he and his team must manage if they are to keep him at the top, says Eurosport’s Alex Corretja. Alcaraz ascended to the world No. 1 ranking this year after a remarkable year which saw him win the US Open, and other significant titles. Corretja reckoned that win in Flushing Meadows left the Spaniard with “a bill to pay”.

Carlos Alcaraz’s injury issues suffered at the recent Paris Masters were a consequence of his “miracle” season in 2022, believes Eurosport’s Alex Corretja.
Alcaraz had to retire from his quarter-final against eventual winner Holger Rune with an abdominal complaint, which ruled him out of the year-ending ATP Finals, as well as the Davis Cup Finals where he would’ve represented Spain.
Alcaraz, still only 19, won the US Open in September, becoming the youngest male world No. 1 in the history of tennis, and Corretja feels the events of the last few months have caught up with the young sensation.
Speaking to Eurosport, Corretja said: “The efforts delivered by Alcaraz were immense, too much, to a point where it was almost impossible not to get injured.

“What happened is… I can’t say that he went straight from 0 to 10 but let’s say from 4 to 10, and it takes a huge mental and physical demand; it’s very difficult to deal with.

“All this is a lesson for him, he’s learning, and he has a team around him [led by ex-world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero] that knows exactly what it takes to be at the top.
“They too must learn how Carlos’ body reacts to the matches, in the media glare, with the intensity needed to be at the top and his will to keep the number one spot.

“I don’t think what happened to him is surprising. It is only logical to me for him to get exhausted at the end of such a season.
“The most important thing is that he will finish the year world No. 1 or No. 2 and that he won a Grand Slam.

“I am convinced that they will find the adequate schedule next year for Carlos to keep winning the big tournaments.”

Corretja, a two-time French Open finalist, expanded on how he believed Alcaraz must’ve been feeling following his stunning win at Flushing Meadows, which saw him come through three five-set wins back-to-back en route to the final.
“The effort of the US Open came with a bill to pay,” Corretja said. “You achieve the goal of a lifetime, the dream of becoming world No. 1 and to win a Slam.

“The following weeks are automatically the toughest to deal with. He played the Davis Cup just afterwards, then went to a tournament very far away [in Astana, Kazakhstan], with the long flight and the time competing he had to do.

“Of course, in the end, it is a pity because we hoped to see him at the [Paris] Masters, to fight for the world No. 1 against Rafa [Nadal], not especially to measure who is the best out of the two, but more for the pride to have two Spaniards fighting for the world No. 1 throne.

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“On top of that, not having him for the Davis Cup Finals, which had drawn lots of expectation because it is being played in Spain. But I’ll say it again: all this is normal with everything that happened, even if it is a bit of a ‘what a pity’ situation.

“I am convinced that in 2023, it will be dealt with differently, and I still think that the way they dealt with him was still excellent. We’ve got to remember that what Alcaraz has done is almost a miracle because fighting for what he actually fights for at the age of 19, no one had ever done it before.”

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