Carlos Alcaraz Garfia: Profile | New Gen | Stats | Juan Carlos Ferrero
As one of the hardest hitters of the ball, Carlos Alcaraz Garfia has proved to be a tough nut to crack in New York. The 18-year-old stunned the World number 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in a classic 5-setter in the 3rd round of the US Open.
SportCo takes a deep dive into the rise of the Spanish teen, his fearlessness in crunch moments, comparison with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and the role of his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero.
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia
|Date of Birth||5th May 2003|
|Playing Style||Right-Handed and |
|Ranking on the ATP Tour||55 now (490 in 2020)|
Youngest Player to win against
Youngest Pro to reach 4th round
Delicate Drop Shots
|Prize Money won in 2021||$563,531|
|Win-Loss record this year||21-13 (won the ATP-250 |
Umag Open in July).
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia: Analyzing his Lion-Heartedness in the US Open
The Spaniard was the clear crowd favourite in the round of 32 clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek was facing the heat due to his long bathroom breaks in the first 2 matches (against Andy Murray and Adrian Mannarino). He was also criticized heavily for not getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
Alcaraz played first-strike tennis in the first set and clinched it 6-3. Stefanos’s strategy of hitting deep returns failed as Carlos struck the ball from inside the baseline. He smashed 9 winners and committed just 9 unforced errors.
Not the one to give up, the Greek God gave a strong comeback by taking the second set 6-4. The Spanish teen’s first serve win % decreased drastically from 79 to 47. Tsitsipas reduced his unforced error count to 5 while Alcaraz made 17.
Stefanos Tsitsipas choked after taking an imposing 5-2 lead in the third set. The Next-Gen did not convert 3 set points. Broken back-to-back, the Greece star faltered under pressure.
Backed by a packed stadium, the Spaniard forced a tiebreaker. Carlos Alcaraz Garfia was consistent at the net winning 7 out of 10 points. The Greek struggled with 15 unforced errors and a poor second-serve winning percentage of 36.
It took just 27 minutes for Tsitsipas to turn the tide. The 3rd seed routed the 18-year-old 6-0 in the fourth set. There was a stark difference in the first-serve winning percentage (91 for Stefanos and 21 for Alcaraz). Carlos took just 10 points compared to the Greek’s 26.
The fifth set kept the whole world on their toes as Stefanos Tsitsipas and Carlos Alcaraz Garfia threw everything at each other. The Greek’s backhand slice was off-color in the decisive moments.
The Spaniard’s forehand was firing on all cylinders (inside-out and topspin heavy). The teenager hit another winner, dropped to the blue surface as the spectators in Flushing Meadows went berserk after 4 hours and 7 minutes.
Interestingly, Tsitsipas ended up on the losing side despite winning more points (167) than Alcaraz (159). 61 proved to be the lucky number for Carlos Alcaraz (% of net points won and total winners).
How Juan Carlos Ferrero turned a prodigy into a match-winner
An ex-World number 1, a French Open champion (2003), and a Spaniard, Ferrero has been coaching Alcaraz for the last 3 years.
Aged 41, Juan Carlos Ferrero has helped Carlos Alcaraz be grounded despite the Rafa comparison and maximized his potential.
Moreover, Carlos increased his muscle weight by 2-3 kilos. This was due to him suffering from cramps against Albert-Ramos Vinolas in the Rio de Janeiro Open in February 2020.
Why is Carlos Alcaraz Garfia a mix of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
“Honestly I don't copy any style of a player, I just play my game, but if I have to say, one player that is similar to my game, I think it's Roger Federer, I think it's a good comparison for me, trying to be aggressive all the time with the forehand, backhand, I think I have to improve a little bit the serve, but I think it is similar, yeah”, said Carlos Alcaraz.
In terms of fighting spirit and saving multiple set points, the Spanish teen has all the same qualities as Nadal. Besides that, Toni Nadal (Rafa’s uncle and former coach) has labeled him the “Next Rafa”.
While the Spanish legend made heads turn in the French Open 2005, his heir to the throne is making waves in the US Open this year.
Dear tennis aficionados, will Carlos Alcaraz Garfia go all the way? Do share your views below.
Featured Image Credits - US Open - Twitter