After winning the Madrid Masters on Sunday, Carlos Alcaraz admitted that he looks up to the Big 3 of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic mainly due to their sustained brilliance and penchant for improvement.
The trio are widely regarded as the best players in the game's history, winning 61 Grand Slams, 11 ATP Finals and 101 Masters 1000 titles between them.
Alcaraz, 19, is being tipped to follow in the footsteps of the Big 3. His win over Alexander Zverev at the Caja Magica on Sunday marked his fourth title of the year. He also became the youngest player in 17 years to win multiple Masters 1000 titles and the youngest champion in Madrid.
Nevertheless, following his triumph in the Spanish capital, Alcaraz said that he needs to continue improving, just like the Big 3 have done over the course of their careers.
"Look at Rafa, Djokovic, Federer, all of them improve and they have things to improve. That's why they are so good, and that's why they are so much time up there, because they don't stop. They keep on working and improving. That's what I want to do," he said.
"I have really good shots, but I can improve them, and they can be even better" - Carlos Alcaraz
Alcaraz knows he has formidable weapons in his arsenal. He has a strong serve, powerful groundstrokes off either wing and a deceptive drop shot. However, the teenager wants to continue "progressing" and make his "really good" shots "even better."
"I want to keep on progressing," Alcaraz said. "I have really good shots. I don't say that I don't have them, but I know that I can improve them and they can be even better."
Following his Madrid triumph, where he became the first player to beat Nadal and Djokovic in the same claycourt tournament, Alcaraz has ascended to No. 6 in the ATP rankings. Nevertheless, the teenager doesn't consider himself to be the best player in the world just yet.
"Djokovic is No. 1 in the ranking. You know, because I have won Barcelona, and I have beaten Djokovic and Rafa yesterday in Madrid, I don't consider myself the best player in the world. I also think that tomorrow I'm going to be 6th, so I still have five players in front of me to be the best one," he said.
Carlos Alcaraz also explained that withdrew from Rome in order to be fresh for Roland Garros.
"Given the state of my feet and my ankle, I am really excited for fighting for a Grand Slam. I think that it's better to rest, to recover my ankle, recover my feet, to be in Paris at 100%," he added.
The teenager sprained his ankle during his quarterfinal win over Nadal on Friday. However, that didn't seem to hinder him as he beat Djokovic and Zverev to win one of the biggest titles of his career.
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