I don't know if it's because of the need to find a replacement for him now that he's at the end of his career or because of that human habit of putting away old things. At this point, and after the overwhelming start to the season carried out by Carlos Alcaraz, there are few who doubt the potential of the Murcian and many who assure that a new star has been born or, as the journalist Nacho Calvo said the other day in Spanish Television, after the victory of the prodigy in the Open 1000 in Madrid, a megastar. You only need to see him play a game to realize that the future is his. He has an extraordinary variety of shots, culminating in his devastating right hand that suddenly unravels the ball like a tame drop. All this accompanied by privileged legs and a head that is presumed very well furnished. The comparisons with Nadal began on the North American tour that traditionally follows the Australian Open, where the Mallorcan achieved one of the greatest feats in the history of tennis. Soon it began to be said that he would soon be number one, some dared to assure that he would achieve the same successes as the Nadal, Djokovic and Federer trio. I even heard a scholar in the field assure me that he would surpass them.
I started watching Carlitos, as he likes to be called, play last season. I love it. He seemed to me like a tennis player mixed with many others but with his own personality. I was captivated by his self-confidence and his overwhelming game. And, like the vast majority, he wanted him to become the tennis player he pointed to. Everything indicates that you are on the right path. He has a structured family that seems to give him the appropriate advice and recommendations; and a coach who, in addition to having been an excellent tennis player, was one of the most emotionally balanced players that tennis has produced in recent decades. The confirmation of all this was given when he went out with his mother to the balcony of his house in Villena to show the trophy to all his neighbors. Just like a kid when he wins his first cup. The question remains that, he is a kid, a 19-year-old boy who is being compared day in and day out with Rafa Nadal, which seems to me as irresponsible as it is insolent. No one is unaware that the man from Manacorí has little gasoline left in the tank, it is the law of life even for a prodigy like him, and that has made us think about the void that such an absence will leave. But in exchange for satisfying our premature nostalgia, we have done two things wrong: we have placed an unbearable responsibility on Alcaraz's shoulders and, on the other hand, we have minimized Nadal's cyclopean career, as if equaling it were a simple task; when objectively it seems unattainable for anyone other than Federer or Djokovic. Everything invites us to think that Alcaraz has an enormously bright future ahead of him, but it would be magnificent to let him burn through the corresponding stages, with his mistakes and his successes, with his successes and disappointments, with his doubts and his certainties. Although the most convenient thing would be to let Carlitos go and not the new Nadal.