Fresh off beating three of the world’s top four players en route to the Madrid title, 19-year-old Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz is drawing fresh comparisons to some of the greatest players in men’s tennis history.
Former world No. 1 Andy Roddick says Alcaraz is “the co-favorite” along with 13-time Roland Garros winner Rafael Nadal at the French Open, while four-time major champion Jim Courier says Alcaraz will finish his career with double-digit majors.
“I put him as co-favorite, and I cannot believe that I’m saying that in a three-out-of-five set tournament at Roland Garros, but that’s what I feel,” Roddick said Sunday on Tennis Channel in response to a question from host Brett Haber.
Alcaraz, who will rise to No. 6 in the world Monday, improved to 28-3 this season and has won four titles, including his first Masters 1000 crown in Miami.
He has now beaten the world’s No. 1 (Novak Djokovic), No. 3 (Alexander Zverev) and No. 4 (Nadal) players in the span of three days. On Saturday, he became the first man ever to beat Nadal and Djokovic in the same clay court event.
Alcaraz reached the third round at Roland Garros in 2021. His only appearance in the second week of a major came when he reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, when he tapped out against Felix Auger-Aliassime down 6-3, 3-1 after injuring his leg.
Roddick says Alcaraz is a different physical player now, though, and looks like he’ll be a major threat in best-of-five matches.
“Yes, he landed in Australia this year…and he was a different-looking human, he put in the work,” Roddick said.
He then pointed to the fact that Alcaraz spent nearly six hours on court in back-to-back wins over Nadal and Djokovic and then came back and destroyed Zverev, 6-3, 6-1 in Sunday’s final.
“I’m not worried about this kid’s body over the course of two weeks and I don’t think he’s going to get extended in the early rounds with his form the way it is right now,” Roddick said.
As for the long haul, Courier believes Alcaraz will finish with double-digit majors. something only a handful of men’s players in history have accomplished.
Nadal is the all-time leader with 21 Slams, while Djokovic and Roger Federer are currently tied at 20.
“I think Alcaraz if he’s healthy is definitely a double-digit guy,” Courier said.
“I’m not sure anyone else below the ‘Big 3’ is, we’ll find out,” he added. “I don’t know that we should expect 20 but I do think double-digits is very much within Carlos’ reach.”