'Don't Remember Big 3 Winning Everything At 20': Ferrer Defends Alcaraz Title Drought

'Don't Remember Big 3 Winning Everything At 20': Ferrer Defends Alcaraz Title Drought

by Nurein Ahmed

David Ferrer has leaped onto the defense of Carlos Alcaraz in the wake of his recent title drought that is teetering into a seventh month.

Alcaraz enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2022, winning a maiden Grand Slam at the US Open and becoming the youngest World No. 1 in ATP history. That same year, he defeated both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Masters to win the tournament.

Despite setting the bar so high for himself, Alcaraz raised it in 2023 when he added a second Grand Slam at Wimbledon last July. He also scooped a couple more big titles in Indian Wells and Madrid. He shared the World No. 1 ranking with Novak Djokovic for most of last season.

But Alcaraz is in the midst of a mini-slump, according to some onlookers. He is unlikely to dethrone Djokovic from the top spot for next month, giving the Serb the all-clear to become the oldest World No. 1 in ATP history.

The Spaniard has also failed to end his title drought during the Golden Swing when he looked primed to do so. But compatriot David Ferrer believes Alcaraz cannot be expected to win every time he steps on the court during an interview on Eurosport, more so when he is in a transition year this season.

"He is number two in the world, but a 20-year-old tennis player cannot always be expected to win. Now Carlos is in a year of transition, a year where it is logical that there will be more pressure because you have to maintain the high level and also because his rivals know him more."

The former World No. 3, who is now retired, referred to Alcaraz as a special player in the same bracket as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer. The 41-year-old also claimed that Alcaraz has won so much at his age that none of the Big 3 had a similar level of success at 20.

"He is intelligent, he is conscious and evolves, that is why I say that he is a special player, of the stature of Rafa, Roger or Novak. He still has a lot of time and can't be asked to win everything. I don't remember Rafa, Djokovic or Federer winning everything at that age."

Alcaraz is currently nursing an ankle injury he picked up at the 2024 Rio Open. He is to fly out of Brazil and head to Indian Wells to continue with his rehabilitation, after which he will travel to Las Vegas to play at the Netflix Slam.


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