Carlos Alcaraz is vying to emulate the legacy of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic after winning his second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. The world No 1 became the first person in 10 years to defeat Djokovic on Centre Court as he became the new prince of SW19 on Sunday. And he is already aiming even bigger.
Alcaraz came through a thrilling five-set epic in his first Wimbledon final to stun Djokovic and be crowned the champion. Just five weeks after nerves saw him start cramping against the Serb during the French Open semi-final, the 20-year-old bounced back to complete one of the toughest tasks in tennis – defeating the 23-time Major champion on Centre Court.
The Spaniard has long been tipped for big things and already reached the pinnacle of the sport as a teenager last September, winning his first Slam title at the US Open and becoming the youngest world No 1 in ATP history. Now holding two Majors less than three months after turning 20, Alcaraz is thinking even bigger and wants to be remembered as one of the greatest.
“I believe that the explanation lies in the fact that, in the end, we are very clear about our objective,” Alcaraz told El Pais after he was asked how he quickly became one of the biggest stars in tennis. With the Australian Open and French Open now on his radar, the 20-year-old explained exactly what that objective was.
He added: “We are gradually making our dreams come true: to be No 1, to be a Grand Slam champion, to win Wimbledon… and I want to win Roland Garros and Australia as well, but the very long-term goal is to be considered one of the best in history, as great legends like Djokovic, Rafa, and Federer have achieved.”
Alcaraz knew the dream was a big one but he backed himself to match the legacy of the Big Three. “I have always said it, it may be that this goal is too big, too ambitious or that they think I am arrogant, but in the end in this life you have to think and dream big, and you have to go for it,” he continued.
“All this is not too big for me because I know and I am very clear about what I want to achieve in the future, so I must continue on this path.” Alcaraz also admitted he is aware of just how good a player he is – something that will help him become one of the greatest.
“We have to look at reality and be honest. I do know how good a player I am, and I don’t think that’s arrogance, but simply self-confidence,” he explained. “I know how difficult it is for opponents to beat me and to play at a very high level for so long against me in order to beat me, and I think that is a virtue I have. It’s about self-confidence and, yes, I know I’m a good player…”