Carlos Alcaraz given harsh Djokovic and Nadal reality in ‘mission impossible’ – exclusive | Tennis | Sport

Carlos Alcaraz has been told that he will not be able to surpass the Big Three despite being tipped to have a great career. The 19-year-old became the youngest ATP world No 1 in history when he ascended to the top of the rankings in September and was the first teenage Grand Slam since Rafael Nadal in 2005, but fellow Spaniard Alex Corretja believes it would take a “miracle” for the six-time title winner to outdo Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Alcaraz had long been tipped as the next big thing in tennis and fulfilled predictions last year when he won five titles, including his first Major trophy at the US Open, and ascended to the top of the rankings. The Spaniard is yet to get his 2023 season underway after suffering an injury in pre-season training that forced him out of the Australian Open but the likes of Mats Wilander have still backed him to become more important than the likes of the Big Three.

But one of Alcaraz’s own compatriots has now rubbished the idea that the US Open champion can go on to surpass Djokovic, Nadal and Federer, as former world No 2 Alex Corretja told Express Sport that it would be impossible. “Well I would say that that would be a miracle,” the 17-time title winner said, speaking ahead of the Australian Open, which is live and exclusive on discovery+ and Eurosport.

“I don’t think that anyone will surpass Djokovic, Federer or Nadal, that’s my opinion. Of course, we don’t know.” While the former pro-turned-pundit didn’t think that Alcaraz would be able to match the 20+ Grand Slam titles that the Big Three had amassed, he still thought the 19-year-old would experience huge success after getting his first Major in the bag.

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“I’d worked so hard to get to my best level for Australia but unfortunately I won’t be able to play the Care A2+ Kooyong or the Australian Open. It’s tough, but I have to be optimistic, recover and look forward. See you in 2024 @AustralianOpen.”

It was Alcaraz’s second injury setback in as many months, as the teenager tore an ab muscle in his Paris Masters match against Holger Rune in November and was forced to end his season early, skipping the ATP Finals and Davis Cup.

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