Former seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander believes Carlos Alcaraz «could become the most important player in history.» Alcaraz, 19, is already a Grand Slam champion and the youngest number 1 in tennis history.
Although Alcaraz is already known as one of the biggest competitors in the game, he is often smiling on the court as well, as it is clear that he enjoys and has fun when he is on the court. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are considered tennis’ greatest icons, but Wilander believes Alcaraz could even have a bigger impact on the game than those two all-time greats.
Wilander explained his views during a conversation with Eurosport’s Arnold Montgault.
Wilander: Alcaraz could be the most important tennis player in history
«For me, seeing Alcaraz win the US Open was probably the most exciting tournament I’ve seen in the 20+ years that I’ve worked on television or in the media as an analyst.
I have said that I believe that if Alcaraz can continue winning – and I have even said [Alcaraz’s coach] Juan Carlos Ferrero this in private: he could become the most important tennis player we have ever had in our sport.
People will say, what do you mean? Isn’t that Roger Federer? Isn’t that Rafael Nadal? Yes, they are absolutely, incredibly important. But here’s a guy who’s trying really hard, he’s so fast, he’s playing so many different shots and he’s serving and volleying 15-30.
He is 19 years old! She’s shooting drop shots at 15-30, she’s 19! Then he dives in, and by the end, he’s smiling and laughing. So if I’m a parent, I’ll look at Alcaraz and go, ‘Wow, wow, that’s number 1.’
1 player in the world? And is he having so much fun? Kids, everyone is going to play this sport because it seems to be a life-changing situation,'» Wilander told Eurosport. Unfortunately, Alcaraz will not compete at the upcoming Australian Open.
Late last week, Alcaraz revealed for the first time that he suffered a leg injury during preseason. As a result, the season-opening Grand Slam will be without world number 1 Alcaraz.