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Carlos Alcaraz owns 3 Grand Slam titles at age 21 and his Wimbledon title defense starts July 1



Carlos Alcaraz owns 3 Grand Slam titles at age 21 and his Wimbledon title defense starts July 1

PARIS (AP) — Carlos Alcaraz plans to proceed his custom of celebrating Grand Slam titles with tattoos by getting ink of the date he gained his first French Open championship and a drawing of the Eiffel Tower.

That artwork, to assist bear in mind Sunday’s 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 comeback in opposition to Alexander Zverev within the closing at Roland Garros, will go close to Alcaraz’s left ankle. His proper ankle already bears the date of his 2023 Wimbledon triumph and a picture of a strawberry; his left arm carries the date of his first main trophy, which arrived on the 2022 U.S. Open.

On the fee he’s going, the 21-year-old from Spain would possibly run out of pores and skin. Alcaraz, although, famous Sunday that he assured his mom he won’t hold printing the dates of each Slam victory for the remainder of his profession on his physique. As an alternative, he’ll hold it to only dates of the primary title from every of the 4 most essential occasions in tennis — which implies all that continues to be is the Australian Open, and who would doubt that he ultimately will add that one, too?

As it’s, Alcaraz is the youngest man to gather a Slam title on clay, grass and exhausting courts, a lot as he was the youngest, at 19, to succeed in No. 1 within the ATP rankings.

“My recreation fits … each floor,” he defined, “as a result of I observe it.”

He first realized the game on clay, he finds himself most comfy on exhausting courts — he sought to excel there as a result of that’s what’s used at most tournaments — and his always-look-to-attack type is an ideal match for grass, as his win over seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic in final 12 months’s closing on the All England Membership proved. Alcaraz’s title protection there begins July 1.

In fact, he mentioned, he works on his protection. And his drop photographs and volleys are priceless instruments, as Zverev and so many others see.

However Alcaraz’s underlying precept is that this: “My major objective is being aggressive, as a lot as I can.”

Within the semifinals in Paris, he wore down Jannik Sinner — who changed the injured Djokovic at No. 1 within the rankings on Monday, forward of No. 2 Alcaraz — and got here again from a two-sets-to-one deficit by grabbing eight of the final 11 video games in a 4-hour, 9-minute match.

Within the closing, Alcaraz wore down the fourth-ranked Zverev, once more erasing a 2-1 deficit in units, this time by rolling by 12 of the final 15 video games in a 4-hour, 19-minute match.

“We’re each bodily robust, however he’s a beast. He’s an animal, for certain. The depth he performs tennis at is completely different to different individuals,” Zverev mentioned. “He can accomplish that many various issues.”

Alcaraz handled cramps in opposition to each Sinner and Zverev and mentioned the actual key, he has discovered, is within the thoughts.

“In the event you’re not robust in your head and also you don’t present psychological power,” Alcaraz mentioned, “you gained’t win Grand Slams.”

Greatness has been predicted of him for fairly a while and, up to now, he has met the outsized expectations. The requirements he’s setting solely serve to extend the quantity of the reward — and the projections of what may be doable.

As he answered questions in English and Spanish on Sunday night time, Alcaraz was requested in each languages what number of of those trophies he can hold successful.

One reporter talked about Djokovic’s males’s-record 24 Grand Slam titles (which, in case you’re maintaining monitor, is 21 greater than the place Alcaraz’s complete stands). One other introduced up that quantity, in addition to the 14 French Open championships gained by his countryman and, to make use of Alcaraz’s phrase, “idol,” Rafael Nadal (simply, oh, 13 forward of Alcaraz).

Alcaraz laughed and referred to as these two accomplishments otherworldly.

When somebody wished to know whether or not equaling Djokovic is one thing he desires about and is achievable, Alcaraz smiled that huge smile of his.

“I don’t know,” he mentioned. “I hope so.”

Then Alcaraz associated a dialog he had Saturday together with his coach, 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, about how “tough” it’s to win one Slam — and the way “unbelievable” it’s that Djokovic has gained 24.

“Proper now, I can’t give it some thought. I simply wish to hold going, and let’s see what number of Grand Slams I’m going to (personal) on the finish of my profession. Hopefully, attain the 24,” Alcaraz mentioned, earlier than reaching his left hand towards the silver Coupe des Mousquetaires he had simply earned and including, “however proper now, I’m going to get pleasure from my third one, and let’s see sooner or later.”


Howard Fendrich has been the AP’s tennis author since 2002. Discover his tales right here:


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