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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday February 8, 2021


Carlos Alcaraz has been a player on the rise for some time now, and the Spaniard has already turned plenty of heads in the media and among his peers. Now he’s doing it at the Grand Slam level.

Tennis Express

The 17-year-old Spaniard ticked off an important milestone on Tuesday in Melbourne when he notched a 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 victory over fellow qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp. Alcaraz becomes the first player born in 2003 to record a Grand Slam win and he will face Sweden’s Mikael Ymer in the second round—a very winnable match for the young talent, who is coached by former Grand Slam champion Juan Carlo Ferrero.

“I'm very happy to this win today in my first Grand Slam, my first win on a Grand Slam,” said Alcaraz, who had already become the youngest player to qualify for a Grand Slam main draw since Novak Djokovic in 2005. “I try to enjoy, to enjoy, to play my game. Yeah, I think I did it. I enjoyed. I got the experience. Yeah, I excited to play my second round.”

Alcaraz, who had his first practice with Rafael Nadal before the tournament began, also received some high praise from the King of Clay on Tuesday.

“He's very good,” Nadal said. “He's very young. He has everything to improve in the future with his age. He already is where he is, and he has a lot of great things on his game. I really believe that he will have a great future because he's a good guy, humble, hard worker. He has a lot of positive things.”


Alcaraz’s success today isn’t all that surprising. He’s a physical specimen and plays like he belongs on the senior tour. He’s also athletic and willing to close points at the net. And he’s blessed with powerful well-balanced groundstrokes off of both wings. He became the first player born in 2003 to win an ATP match last year at Rio, where he also became the youngest player ever to win a 500-level match.

Last year after the tennis restart, he went 20-4 on the challenger circuit with three titles.

He enters the tournament with a ranking of 141. It seems that it won’t be long before he supplants Jannik Sinner as the youngest player inside the Top 100.

Stay tuned…

 

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