Mats Wilander: Never compare Carlos Alcaraz to Rafael Nadal e Big Three

Eurosport tennis expert Mats Wilander thinks Carlos Alcaraz should “never be compared” to Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer given the unique way in which he reached the very top of the game. 

Alcaraz, 19, enjoyed an astonishing 2022 season as this year he became a Grand Slam champion and also captured two Masters titles.

Alcaraz also became the youngest No 1 in tennis history and he is now also the youngest Year-End No 1 in tennis history. 

Wilander feels it will likely take some time for Alcaraz to get used to his new reality but he believes the 19-year-old will be just fine because he expects coach Juan Carlos Ferrero to make the right moves. 

Wilander: Don’t compare Alcaraz to the Big Three 

“I think it will be really hard to digest 2022 for Alcaraz. But I also think [coach] Juan Carlos Ferrero is going to know exactly what they need to do. I think that there’s a validation process that has to happen for Carlos. ‘Am I really No. 1 in the world?’ That was an unbelievable year. But hold on. There’s Holger Rune. There’s Djokovic. There is Daniil Medvedev. I mean, ‘what you’re putting me as No. 1 as a 19 year old?’. So I think there’s going to be a bit of doubt there, and I think that you have to take care of that doubt by working really hard physically and mentally and really finding how he needs to play tennis when he is not feeling good,” Wilander told Eurosport. 

For many years, men’s tennis was waiting for a young player to come and do big things at a very young age. 

“He’s the most inspirational tennis player that we have because of what he did in 2022 and most of all because of the way he did it. Never compare him to Rafa, Roger and Novak, the way he did it I’ve never seen anything like it,” Wilander added.