Zverev: 'Alcaraz Will Be Top 10 By 2024'
Alexander Zverev was full of praise for Carlos Alcaraz on Monday night, predicting the 17-year-old would be “Top 10 by 2024” after his opening-round victory against the Spaniard at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC.
“He is 17 years old and everyone is looking at him right now,” said Zverev, after beating #NextGenATP Alcaraz 6-3, 6-1. “I remember when I was 17, coming on Tour and he is playing incredible tennis. My guess is he will be Top 10 by 2024, in three years’ time when he is 20. He is definitely going to have a long and great career and it won’t be the last time I play him.”
World No. 7 Zverev, who reached the Australian Open quarter-finals (l. to Djokovic) last month, also said Alcaraz reminds him of another Spanish star, Rafael Nadal, who broke onto the ATP Tour as a teenager.
“[Carlos’] shots are extremely heavy, his forehand particularly,” said Zverev. “He reminds me of Nadal, a right-hander obviously, but the heaviness of the ball is very similar. He will only improve from now on.
“I have played against a lot of younger players than me. The heaviness of his ball was very different to the others guys that I have played against. He plays extremely well, moves well and hits the ball very hard so I think he has a bright future ahead. I think he will move up the [FedEx ATP] Rankings quite quickly.”
Alcaraz was ranked No. 318 in the FedEx ATP Rankings this time last year, but is now up to No. 132. At last month's Australian Open, the Spaniard became the youngest player to earn a Grand Slam match win since Thanasi Kokkinakis, then aged 17, at the 2014 event in Melbourne.