Carlos Alcaraz’s brutal statement amid Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic dramas

Carlos Alcaraz has stamped his favouritism for the French Open after taking down Stefanos Tsitsipas to win back-to-back titles at the Barcelona Open. With doubts surrounding Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Alcaraz now appears to be the red-hot favourite to take the title at Roland Garros.



Alcaraz produced a near-flawless display in Barcelona on Sunday to claim his third title of 2023, crushing Tsitsipas in straight sets to retain the crown he won last year. The 19-year-old Spaniard was in commanding form in a 6-3 6-4 victory over the second seed, which adds to his title wins in Buenos Aires and Indian Wells so far this year.



Alcaraz is currently World No.2 behind Djokovic – and his Barcelona title won’t be enough to go to the top of the rankings. But with Djokovic troubled by an elbow problem and withdrawing from the Madrid Open, and Nadal still out of action with a hip injury he suffered at the Australian Open, Alcaraz appears likely to go into the French Open as the overwhelming favourite.

It’s incredible. To feel this energy and lift the trophy in Barcelona in front of my family and friends, and most members of my team are here as well,” Alcaraz said after defending his title without dropping a set all tournament. “Playing this level and to lift the trophy in front of them is a good feeling for me.”

However Alcaraz was quick to play down speculation that he is the French Open champion-in-waiting, just five weeks out from the second major of the year in Paris. “I don’t want to be anyone’s replacement,” Alcaraz said when asked if he is the heir apparent to Nadal – who turns 37 in June.

“In the two years that Rafa hasn’t been here, I’ve been lucky. Or let’s say, I’ve won the title.

“I’ve always wanted to play against the best, it’s a shame that we haven’t been able to enjoy Rafa these last two years. Let’s hope he continues to play for a long time and that we can enjoy his tennis, but obviously we are not here to take over from anyone, but to build our own history.”


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