Advertisement

Alcaraz plays down chasing 'impossible' Nadal, Djokovic records

Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all three surfaces (EMMANUEL DUNAND)
Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all three surfaces (EMMANUEL DUNAND)

Carlos Alcaraz said emulating Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic's successes seems "impossible" after winning his maiden French Open title on Sunday with victory over Alexander Zverev.

The 21-year-old came from behind to win 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 and claim his third Grand Slam triumph.

Alcaraz's victory made him the youngest man to win Slam titles on clay, grass and hard courts.

With Roger Federer retired, Nadal expected to hang up his racquet this year and Djokovic having a poor season by his high standards, Alcaraz could be primed to dominate the sport for years to come.

Although he is already making history, he has some way to go to match Nadal's record of 14 French Open titles or Djokovic's men's best total of 24 Grand Slams.

"Both things are out of the ordinary," he admitted.

"You have to be an alien to get it. What Rafa did with 14 is practically impossible.

"The 24 Grand Slams I hope I can but it is almost impossible. Both things are out of the ordinary...

"Before facing this final, he (coach Juan Carlos Ferrero) told me, you're going to fight for your third Grand Slam title, with everything you have been through, and you know the difficult part of winning a Grand Slam, and Djokovic has 24.

"So it is unbelievable. Right now I can't think about it."

Alcaraz will next turn his attentions to the grass-court season and the defence of his Wimbledon title.

But he already has one eye on returning to Roland Garros next month for the Paris Olympics, where he is expected to play alongside the 38-year-old Nadal in the doubles.

"When I come back here to the Olympics I will have flashbacks. It can be very nice, my first Games 40 days after winning my first Roland Garros," he added.

"I really want to. Fight to give my country a medal, be able to play doubles with my idol Rafa Nadal. Let's fight. Coming back here is going to be a special feeling."

- 'Dream' come true -

He is the eighth Spanish man to win the Coupe des Mousquetaires.

"In Roland Garros, knowing all the Spanish players who have won this tournament and be able to put my name on that amazing list is something unbelievable," Alcaraz told reporters.

"Something that I dreamt about, being in this position, since I was started playing tennis, since I was five, six years old. So it's a great, great feeling."

Third-ranked Alcaraz has already won three major titles, five Masters 1000 tournaments and become the youngest ever world number one, but said Sunday's triumph was his proudest moment so far.

He had struggled with a right arm injury in the build-up to the tournament, missing both the Monte Carlo Masters and the Rome Open, either side of a quarter-final loss to Andrey Rublev in Madrid.

"Right now lifting the Roland Garros trophy, knowing everything that I have been through the last month with the injuries and all that stuff, I don't know. Probably this one," he said.

"Probably this one is the moment that I'm really proud about myself, because everything that I have done the last month just to be ready for this tournament...

"So I'm going to say this one is the most that I am proud about myself."

jc/mw