Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal theory explains Alcaraz success

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Patrick Mouratoglou has shared his theory on why the likes of Carlos Alcaraz have been able to enjoy more success than the era of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev as he claimed that the younger stars didn’t have to face Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in their prime. Alcaraz became the first teenager in 17 years to win a Grand Slam this season and made history as the youngest ATP world No 1 as a result.

Alcaraz became the youngest year-end No 1 in history last week when his spot at the top of the rankings was sealed and he travelled to Turin to collect his trophy. He was one of two 19-year-olds to enjoy success last season, as Holger Rune ended the year by winning the Paris Masters and becoming the first man to beat five top 10 players in one tournament outside of the top eight ATP Finals.

As a result, the pair became the first two teenagers to sit in the top 10 since Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray 15 years ago. In comparison, it took Daniil Medvedev until he was 25 to win a Grand Slam title and until he was 26 to reach No 1 in the world while Tsitsipas and Zverev have not been able to achieve either milestone yet.

And Serena Williams’ ex-coach has now shared his theory as to why it was easier for Alcaraz and Rune, as he claimed the teenagers benefitted from not having to face Djokovic and Nadal at their prime. “The generation of Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Rublev, etc. unlucky because they had to deal with prime Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic,” the Frenchman said.

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“They lost a lot in the games against them, it hurt their confidence a little.” Mouratoglou recently joined Rune’s coaching team for the last few events of the season and proved to be a valuable addition as he was by the world No 11’s side for his title run at the Paris Masters.

But he claimed his own charge was among those who had it easier, with the younger players still having belief without being knocked down by the Big Three multiple times. Mouratoglou continued: “The younger generation in the form of Rune, Alcaraz and Auger-Aliassime have not had to deal with this at the moment, so they still believe that they can do anything, this is their advantage.

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“Which generation will be better? I don’t know, but I will watch.” Rune himself has already proven that he believes he can reach the top of the game as he exclusively told Express Sport that his goal was to win a Grand Slam in 2023 and keep climbing up the rankings.

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“I haven’t made my goal plan for 2023 yet, I normally do this with my coach in pre-season, but for sure now I will focus on winning Grand Slams,” the three-time title winner told Express Sport. “I believe I can. I have won ATP 250s, made the final of an ATP 500 and won a Masters 1000. And for sure a ranking inside the top five will be my goal for 2023. Maybe even 1-3.” 

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