It's fair to say tennis legend Boris Becker is impressed with Carlos Alcaraz.
Although Alcaraz suffered a shock 6-3, 7-6 defeat to Fábián Marozsán in the Italian Open round of 32 on Monday, it's still been a great year for the Spaniard.
He boasts a 30-4 record in 2023, has already won four titles — notably defending his Barcelona and Madrid Open titles — while he will return to World No. 1 following the Italian Open. Not to mention, the 20-year-old will enter the French Open as the top seed and among the major favorites.
And what impresses Becker most is his powerful style as the former World No. 1 went on to name two aspects in which Alcaraz excels over Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
“Carlos plays tennis very differently,” Becker told Eurosport. “What impresses me the most is his powerful style of play. When he hits his forehand with full topspin, there’s no grass anymore [a German proverb that his hitting is so effective].
“Whoever dares take on a rally against him has lost anyway. We used to say that about [Rafael] Nadal and [Novak] Djokovic. But Alcaraz has even more punch and even more topspin in his shots. That’s why he’s rewriting tennis history.”
Alcaraz's performances are even more impressive for Becker considering the string of injuries he dealt with in the winter.
“I am fascinated by the fact that he is playing the way he is playing this year,” he added. “It’s hard enough to get into the tennis scene and win your first tournaments. Now it surprised me that after a winter of injuries he continues to play tennis exactly where he left off – with absolute world-class performances.
“For me, this is a sign that he will stay there, that he is a player who can and wants to continue winning big tournaments. If he stays healthy, he's always a contender for a Grand Slam win for the next 10 years.”
It'll certainly be a great thing for the sport of tennis if Alcaraz remains a contender for the foreseeable future.