The next Grand Slam on the tennis calendar for 2022 is the prestigious Roland Garros. All eyes are on 18-year-old Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz who won his first-ever ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami earlier this month. Comparisons to tennis great Rafael Nadal have already taken over social media, with fans calling Alcaraz the successor to Nadal. However, to be considered in the same bracket as Nadal, one has to prove his mettle on clay, and that is exactly what the French Open presents to the 18-year-old.
Asked about his preparations, a confident Alcaraz said that he was ready for the Grand Slam. The Spaniard, boosted by his Miami Open victory, feels that he can go all the way in a Grand Slam, even if it is not the French Open in particular. “I would say yes, I am prepared,” Alcaraz said as per Spanish newspaper Marca.
“I have confidence, the level, the physical and mental ability to win. Maybe not Roland Garros, but a Slam this year, I do see myself as prepared. I’m not afraid to say it.” the Spaniard added.
The Spaniard’s best Grand Slam run came during the 2021 US Open where he earned his place in the quarter-finals. The 18-year-old was never eliminated from the tournament as he was forced to retire before facing Felix Auger-Alliasme in the last eight.
Carlos Alcaraz won the Miami Open on Sunday for the first time in his career on the ATP Tour. The Spaniard won his first ATP Masters 1000 title and third tour-level title in the final at Hard Rock Stadium, defeating sixth seed Casper Ruud 7-5, 6-4. Alcaraz is the youngest Miami men’s champion in the event’s 37-year history, as well as the third-youngest ATP Masters 1000 champion overall, with 283 tournaments under his belt dating back to 1990. He is the first Spanish champion at the tournament, and his victory will propel him to a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 11 in the world.
Only Michael Chang (Toronto 1990) and Rafael Nadal (2005 Monte Carlo) were younger than Alcaraz when they won their first ATP Masters 1000 titles at the age of 18 years and 333 days. Alcaraz took over as the youngest Miami champion from Novak Djokovic, who won in 2007 at the age of 19, when Alcaraz was three years old.