Ion Tiriac: Tennis needs Carlos Alcaraz to replace Big Three

Ion Tiriac feels Carlos Alcaraz has what it takes to be the next great champion and be the new face of the men’s game once Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are all gone. 

Alcaraz, 19, is enjoying an impressive season as he has won two Masters titles this year and he is the seventh-ranked player in the world. 

Alcaraz is widely tipped to win multiple Grand Slams and reach the top spot in the future. 

“A future No. 1,” Tiriac said, per Eurosport Spain. “And I hope he is also a great character because tennis is going to need a great character in the place of these three who are leaving.”

Tiriac hopes Alcaraz becomes the new face of tennis 

The game has a few more bright teenagers, most notably 19-year-old Holger Rune, who reached the French Open quarterfinal. 

“There are people like Alcaraz. Like Rune, who can be a great player but has a few problems, his mother, this and that, but he hits the ball very well,” Tiriac added.

During the same interview, Tiriac suggested he is not really a fan of Roger Federer returning at 40. 

Federer has had three knee surgeries over the last two years, but he is attempting to make a comeback. 

Reflecting on Federer’s plans to return at the Laver Cup and possibly play in 2023, Tiriac said the Swiss risks “making a fool of himself.”

“You can play tennis for fun,” Tiriac said, “which would be a great thing. Be careful, though: it would be a pity if he made a fool of himself. “I see it as a danger because he hasn’t played for so long. If you like tennis, fine, but being competitive at 40? No, no,” Tiriac said. 

Federer, who will turn 41 in August, has signed up to play the Laver Cup in September, and an ATP 500 event in Basel the following month.

Tennis fans would like to see Federer play a full 2023 season and the Swiss hasn’t shut the door on that possibility.