Carlos Alcaraz speaks with CNN after US Open win over Juan Martin del Potro
(CNN) – Carlos Alcaraz, the world number two, has been talking about his two childhood heroes, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, since he was a child. But then it was Roger Federer that was being spoken of the most, after he turned 28, the year after his loss to Nadal in the second round of the 2009 Australian Open.
Now Federer is the number one, as of Friday, but Alcaraz has a different feeling about his hero, and that is not his countryman, Rafael Nadal.
Nadal’s win over Alcaraz on Tuesday, his first Grand Slam victory in over 14 years, was the latest sign of the dominance that has made the Spaniard the world’s most successful tennis player.
“I would say that my second favorite player is Roger Federer,” Alcaraz said, speaking at the post-match press conference. “To see his level at my age, he is a great player that’s also an icon for me. For me, he is not more than the best tennis player that you’ve ever seen.”
After losing the first set to Alcaraz, Federer’s coach, Boris Becker, said he would go out of his way to try to beat the Spaniard. But, he warned, “I will never be beaten by this guy.”
Becker didn’t go as far as to liken Alcaraz, the 23-year-old Alastair Seelye, to a “young Rafa. He is very talented, and I feel like he has the potential of being even better than Rafa is.”
But with the three-time Wimbledon champion in the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows, Federer knew he must not underestimate Alcaraz.
“I am sure he could play with very good players, and he has enough ability to be in the final,” he said, adding that he was also thinking about his fellow Spaniard, Juan Martin del Potro.
Alcaraz was also speaking about his father before his family gathered around the campfire. Carlos Alcaraz said that his father had always given him a good opinion but he wasn’t always ready to listen.
“My father used to say that I should be able to learn from everyone and not just listen to them, which is not to be too stubborn