According to tennis commentator, Carlos Alcaraz will be ‘paying the bill’ after the’miracle’ 2022 season.
According to Alex Corretja, Carlos Alcaraz was mentally and physically exhausted after an exhausting campaign that saw him win the US Open and become world No. 1.
After suffering an abdominal injury during his run to the quarterfinals of the Paris Masters, the Spaniard withdrew from the season-ending ATP Finals.
It is unclear whether he will end the year as the world No. 1 because his compatriots Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas could still overtake him in the rankings based on their performances in Turin this week.
But it’s been a remarkable season for the 19-year-old, who began the year by winning four titles – including ATP Masters 1000 titles at the Miami Open and Madrid Open – in the first half of the season, vaulting into the top 10. He also advanced to the French Open quarterfinals.
After finishing second at the European Open and Croatia Open, all the pieces fell into place at Flushing Meadows when he won the US Open, giving him the world No. 1 ranking.
Corretja then competed in the Davis Cup Finals playoffs before competing in the Astana Open and Swiss Indoors, and he believes the season’s exertions took their toll.
“The US Open effort came with a bill to pay,” the former world number two told Eurosport.
“You achieve the dream of a lifetime, of becoming world No. 1 and winning a Slam, and the weeks that follow are automatically the most difficult to deal with. He played the Davis Cup shortly after, then went to a tournament very far away [in Astana, Kazakhstan], with the long flight and the time competing he had to do.
“Of course, it’s a shame because we hoped to see him at the [Paris] Masters, fighting for the world No. 1 against Rafa [Nadal], not so much to see who is the best of the two, but more for the pride of having two Spaniards fighting for the top spot.
“On top of that, not having him for the Davis Cup Finals, which had a lot of expectation because it was being played in Spain, but I’ll say it again: all of this is normal with everything that happened, even if it is a ‘what a pity’ situation.”
“I am convinced that in 2023, it will be handled differently, and I continue to believe that the way they [his coaching team] handled him was excellent.” We must remember that what Alcaraz has accomplished is almost miraculous, because fighting for what he does at the age of 19 has never been done before.”
Last year, Alcaraz competed in 19 tournaments but only played 49 singles matches. He has only competed in 17 events this year, but his total match count is 70.
Despite his youth and being one of the fittest athletes on the ATP Tour, he was always going to struggle with adapting to the intensity of playing week in and week out during the business end of big tournaments.
“Alcaraz’s efforts were enormous, to the point where it was almost impossible not to be injured,” Corretja said.
“What happened was… I can’t say he went from 0 to 10, but let’s say from 4 to 10, and it requires a tremendous mental and physical effort; it’s extremely difficult to deal with.”