Why do people like Alcaraz? This is what Michael Chang has to say

Carlos Alcaraz acknowledges the immense impact Rafael Nadal has had on the sport of tennis
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz Garfia plays a backhand return to Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during their men's singles quarter final match at the Roland Garros Complex in Paris on June 4, 2024.
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz Garfia plays a backhand return to Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during their men's singles quarter final match at the Roland Garros Complex in Paris on June 4, 2024. (Photo | AFP)

Enhorabuena @carlosalcaraz  por esta inmensa victoria!!!! Grande!!!! Muy contento por tus éxitos !!! 🇪🇸 #Vamos, read Rafael Nadal's message on X lauding his countryman and young compatriot Carlos Alcaraz after the latter's victory over Alexander Zverev in the French Open finals.

The message crudely translated means: "Congratulations @carlosalcaraz  for this immense victory!!!! Big!!!! Very happy for your successes!!! 🇪🇸 #Let's go."

That was Rafael Nadal's message lauding his countryman and compatriot Alcaraz.

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

There are lot of comparisons being made between the two Spainards. Nadal, however, is 38, and is grappling with injuries.  Alcaraz is 21. He's fighting fit.

But the young prodigy acknowledges Nadal's relentless work ethic and competitive spirit, stating, "I know that's what he wants, that's what he craves, and that he works for it day in, day out to feel competitive, to be able to go out on the court and try to win."

Carlos Alcaraz acknowledged the immense impact Rafael Nadal has had on the sport of tennis during a press conference at the Madrid Open on April 2024.

Way back in 2022, coach and commentator Patrick Mouratoglou lavished praise on Alcaraz, remarking that he agreed with the popular assessment that the Spainard is the heir apparent to Rafael Nadal. While he admitted that watching them both play might give the perception that they are not all that alike, Mouratoglou opined that in terms of sheer quality, Alcaraz is like a modern version of the Mallorcan.

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz Garfia plays a backhand return to Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during their men's singles quarter final match at the Roland Garros Complex in Paris on June 4, 2024.
Carlos Alcaraz owns 3 Grand Slam titles at age 21 and his Wimbledon title defense starts July 1

Meanwhile, the youngest winner of a Grand Slam tournament at the French Open in 1989, Michael Chang described Carlos as an "artist."

In an interview to El Pais, Chang said, "When I see Carlos play, I tend to think that he is not the typical Spaniard. For me, it’s as if a kind of new generation of Spanish players has emerged, because the ones I competed against had great groundstrokes, they moved very well, they hit you with a lot of topspin balls and occasionally with sliced balls; for example, the Sánchez Vicario brothers used the slice a lot. Now, however, it’s different. You just have to see how Alcaraz attacks the net and how athletic he is. He's very different from the classic prototype of the Spanish tennis player. Just have to see Alcaraz attacks the net and how athletic he is. He's very different from the classic prototype of the Spanish tennis player."

"You know, one of the things I really appreciate about Carlos is that he is able to go out there and act like a great champion; that is to say, he is capable of hitting all kinds of big shots. And, furthermore, even if you don’t know him at all as a person, after the game you can go say hello and you find a guy with a smile, whether he won or lost. Regardless of what has happened, he signs autographs or takes photos with the same attitude as always; and, honestly, I don’t think that’s easy at all, because great champions tend to focus on their own thing. I have always seen him with a smile on his face, however, and I think that’s great not only for himself, but for all tennis fans."

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