"A 19-year-old who has this much pull on the audience" - Tennis fans awed by Carlos Alcaraz's reception at Argentina Open

Mutua Madrid Open - Day Ten
Carlos Alcaraz arrives in Buenos Aires for the Argentina Open

Carlos Alcaraz took the ATP Tour by storm in 2022, finishing the year with five titles - including the US Open. That first Grand Slam title enabled the 19-year-old to climb to No. 1 in the ATP rankings, and he ended the season with the year-end ATP World No. 1 trophy too.

Alcaraz became the youngest-ever World No. 1 in the ATP rankings at 19 years, 4 months, and 6 days old. He also became the first teenager in the Open Era to top the men’s rankings in tennis.

The Spanish youngster has been out of action since the end of 2022 though, having pulled out of the 2023 Australian Open due to a hamstring injury. As a result, he lost his No. 1 ranking to Novak Djokovic, the eventual champion at the Melbourne Major.

Alcaraz is all set to play his first tournament of 2023 at the Argentina Open. And the fans in Buenos Aires were very eager to catch a glimpse of the World No. 2, flocking in large numbers to see him practice. Many fans even lay down on the floor to watch him from under the fence.

“Carlos Alcaraz is having people lie down on the floor to try and catch a bit of his practice in Buenos Aires. A comment on Reddit: 'And he’s only Spanish… If he was Argentinian, they would have jumped the fence'," journalist Bastian Fachan tweeted a couple of days ago.

Fans immediately responded to the comment, saying Carlos Alcaraz was undoubtedly good for tennis. One fan opined that Alcaraz was more popular and better for the sport than Nick Kyrgios, indirectly taking a dig at the latter.

“A 19 year-old who has this much pull on the audience,” they wrote. "Don't even say another word about how a certain Australian woman assaulting narcissist is 'good for tennis'. ALCARAZ is good for tennis."

Another fan responded to the tweet with a video they took, saying they were there at the venue (among the fans lying down to watch Alcaraz).

“I think I can improve everything in terms of my game, fitness and mentality” - Carlos Alcaraz

2022 US Open winner - Carlos Alcaraz
2022 US Open winner - Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz will make his first appearance of 2023 at the Argentina Open next week. He was out for more than three months with a hamstring injury, but is now eager to display his electric brand of tennis again.

“It’ll be my first tournament since I picked up the injury in Paris,” Alcaraz said. “It’s been four months since then. But I always arrive thinking about winning and wanting to win, even though it won’t be easy after such a long time without competing.”

The Spaniard arrived a few days early in Buenos Aires to practice, after being out of action for so long.

"That’s why I’ve come a few days early, to train with really good players, gradually improve and to be able to start the tournament as well as possible," he said.

Despite achieving his dream of becoming a Grand Slam champion and World No. 1 at just 19 years of age, Alcaraz believes he has a lot to improve on.

“I think I can improve everything in terms of my game, fitness and mentality," he said.
"Little by little, my team will take those small steps to get even better. Rafa, Roger, and Djokovic, when they were young, they were so good, but as time has gone by, they’ve improved," he added. “I’m certain that I need to continue to improve."

Carlos Alcaraz will play his first competitive match of the year against the winner of the first-round match between Fabio Fognini and Laslo Djere.