Liberal Arts Blog — Carlos Alcaraz, 19: the Next Nadal? the Next Chang? Neither?
Liberal Arts Blog — Saturday is the Joy of Sports, Dance, Fitness, and All Things Physical Day
Today’s Topic: Carlos Alcaraz, 19: the Next Nadal? the Next Chang? Neither?
After beating both Nadal and Djokovic on the way to winning the Madrid in May, Carlos Alcaraz is now considered by some to be, perhaps, the best tennis player in the world. He is the youngest player ever to win the following tournaments: the Madrid Open, the Rio Open, and the Miami Open. He is “the youngest player to enter the Top Ten since Nadal did it in 2005.” Will he win the French Open? He is seeded sixth. But his other victories were all two out of three sets. This will be three out of five. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
IN HIS OWN WORDS AFTER THE MADRID OPEN VICTORY (plus commentary by Alexander Zverev, #3 in world, his vanquished foe)
1. “Last year I was going through these experiences for the first time, playing against the best players, playing in the Masters 1000, and I learned a lot, Now it’s different. I go onto the court knowing that I can win, with the confidence that I can win at any moment.”
2. “It feels great to be able to beat these players, To beat two of the bestplayers in history and then Zverev, the world №3. He is a great player. I would say this is the best week of my life.”
3. Alexander Zverev: “Right now you are the best player in the world, Even though you are still 5 years old, you are still beating us all, so great to see for tennis that we have such a new superstar who is going to win many Grand Slams, who is going to be №1 and is going to win this tournament many times.” We’ll see.
HISTORICAL COMPARISONS: THREE YOUNGEST WINNERS OF THE FRENCH OPEN (Vacherot, Chang, Wilander)
#1 Andre Vacherot, 1894: 17 years, 30 days old, but, remember it was only a two out of three set contest back then. He would go on to win three more titles.
#2 Michael Chang, 1988, 17 years, 95 days, youngest player to win a Grand Slam final in the Open Era and this was a three out of five set duel. However, Chang would never win another Grand Slam tittle.
#3 Mats Wilandar, 1982, 17 years, 288 days, He won again in 1985 and 1988.
NEXT TWO (BORG AND ROSEWALL) PLUS NADAL
#4 Bjorn Borg, 1974, 18 years, 22 days. he would go on to win the tournament five more times. “Borg’s 49–2 (96%) match-win record at Roland Garros is only bettered by Rafael Nadal (93–2; 97.9%) among players who have won at least 40 matches at the claycourt major. Borg won the Roland Garros — Wimbledon double in three consecutive years from 1978 to 1980, a feat that was not achieved for another 28 years till Rafael Nadal (2008, 2010) and Roger Federer did so.”
#5 Ken Rosewall, 1953, 18 years, 209 days, a two of three set victory as an amateur. He went on to win in 1968 during the Open Era. NB: Nadal: The King of Clay (and tennis generally). He won the French Open at 19 and went on to win 13 French Open Titles. He has won 21 Major singles titles. “Nadal’s 81 consecutive wins on clay is the longest single-surface win streak in the Open Era.”
For the last four years of posts organized by theme:
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
Please share the coolest thing you learned this week related to sports, dance, fitness. Or the coolest thing you learned about Sports, Dance, of Fitness in your life — whether on the field, on the dance floor or in the gym, whether from a coach, a parent, a friend, or just your own experimentation.
This is your chance to make some one else’s day. Or even change their life. It’s perhaps a chance to put into words something you have never articulated before. And to cement in your own memory something cool you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart.