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Carlos Alcaraz cements himself as tennis’ hottest prospect with his first career Masters 1000 title

On Sunday, 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz won the Miami Open, beating Casper Ruud in the final to become the tournament’s youngest winner in its 37-year history.

After winning his first Masters 1000 title, Alcaraz was congratulated by his country’s most famous tennis player, 21-time Grand Slam winner Nadal, who earned his nickname “King of Clay” because of his dominance over the red stuff at Roland Garros.
“Many congratulations Carlitos on your historic triumph in Miami”, Nadal wrote on Twitter. “The first of many to come, that’s for sure.”

Alcaraz was also praised by King Felipe VI of Spain.

“I was more nervous [for] this call than the match,” a smiling Alcaraz said after winning the Miami Open.

“It’s quite incredible that the King of Spain congratulates you for the hard work you do every day and for your victory. It’s something you never thought you would receive, a call from the King of Spain. It’s incredible.”

Influence of coach Juan Carlos Ferrero

As Nadal and Roger Federer – two of the greatest tennis players of all time – progress over the years, Alcaraz is tipped to fill their size shoes.
“The answer to the question ‘what happens when Federer and Nadal retire?’ Carlos Alcaraz”, tweeted tennis commentator David Law.

Alcaraz beat world No. 8 Ruud 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 52 minutes in the final at Hard Rock Stadium, reaching a career-high No. 11 in the world rankings.

The Spanish teenager is coached by fellow countryman and former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Initially, Ferrero had not participated in the Miami Open due to the recent death of his father, but surprised Alcaraz by arriving before Sunday’s final.

They started working together in 2018, and Ferrero admitted it didn’t take him long to realize Alcaraz was special.

“I remember when he was training with some of the players that they were a bit higher in the rankings than him, he was 16 or 17, and he could adapt his game to the level of the other players,” Ferrero said. .

“It means he’s got something and he’s going to keep working on that and keep working every day. So his potential was there, and I was just [there] to let it flow and let it play and keep things on track.

“So it doesn’t surprise me at all, but of course it was very, very fast and very fast, so not easy to do.”

And after becoming the third-youngest Masters 1000 champion after Michael Chang and Nadal, Alcaraz hailed the impact Ferrero had on him, on and off the pitch.

“Juan Carlos [is a] very important person for me,” he said. “On the professional side, on the personal side, he helps me a lot on both sides. When we are together we will talk about everything in life, everything in our sport, football too.

“Juan Carlos, I also consider him a coach and a friend. So I can talk to him about everything.”

The win continues a stellar year for Alcaraz – who now has 18 wins and just two losses – and firmly entrenches himself as the hottest prospect in tennis.

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