The 2022 US Open witnessed the rise of the phenomenon of Carlos Alcaraz. Since his victory and debut as the youngest world no.1 ever, the Spaniard has taken to the 2023 season like a cow to grass. Bulldozing his way to numerous successes, Alcaraz has attracted the attention of many admirers worlwide.
From tennis legends praising his style of play and fellow players appreciating his achievements, the 20-year-old has sprung onto the tennis world as an elite champion at such a young age. However, one ex-champion was so dumbfounded by his successes that she found the tag too puerile.
Maria Sharapova praises Alcaraz’s humility in Tennis
Maria Sharapova had words of high praise for Carlos Alcaraz in a recent podcast. The Russian 5-time grand slam champion, who herself was a teenage prodigy, shot back at her interviewer when she called Alcaraz a ‘youngster’.
“Can’t even call Alcaraz younger generation because he’s already you know, at the top of the top. But there’s an aura about, you know, the men’s game that’s very evident.”, she said.
Sharapova also talked about the Spaniard’s humility and down-to-earth attitude and how his demeanour played a huge role in shaping his tennis career.
Sharapova herself knows the trials of being a young superstar on the tennis circuit and how, despite all efforts, a sudden injury scare or a doping scandal could derail a professional career. Her view of the current men’s tennis elite is that the players are hard-working and passionate about the game.
“But what’s interesting is they’re all so different. They’re different styles of play, have different personalities, are from different parts of the world. And it’s just fun to see these rivalries come together.”, she said.
Carlos Alcaraz’s surprise encounter with Sharapova
In August, Carlos Alcaraz was playing in the Canadian Open. After a straightforward victory over Ben Shelton, he talked about his sudden encounter with Maria Sharapova in Toronto.
Alcaraz had words of admiration for the Russian and talked about how, initially, he was doubting his sight as she entered the lift. He couldn’t believe his eyes as Sharapova stood beside him, as the Russian was a world-class champion and an inspiration to him.
Sharapova had included a photo of them together in a photo dump she posted on Instagram in August. She has also previously talked about Alcaraz’s spirit and tenacity during matches.
“Carlos is incredible. What strikes me about him is his fighting spirit on every point. He manages to put on a show and inflame the crowd every time he sets foot on the field. I’m curious to see where he can go in his career.”, she said.
What are your views on Sharapova’s praise of Alcaraz? Will the Spaniard have a successful end to his 2023 season? Let us know in the comments section below.