Roger Federer 'not the player he was' says Rupert Bell
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Roger Federer would be sad if he doesn’t get to face Carlos Alcaraz during his career, according to Annabel Croft. The Swiss maestro is currently injured but hoping to play at Wimbledon this year. And, when he does grace the court again, he’ll have another opponent in his way of more Grand Slam glory.
Alcaraz enhanced his reputation as one of tennis’ most-promising players with his victory at the Madrid Open on Sunday.
The Spaniard was too good for Alexander Zverev, beating his German opponent 6-3, 6-1 to claim the trophy.
Alcaraz’s victory came after he’d beaten Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal on his way to the final.
And Croft, speaking on Amazon Prime, has now expressed a belief Federer will be ‘sad’ if he never gets to play the 19-year-old.
“It’s a shame that he’s (Federer) not playing at the moment because he’s had this knee surgery and we’re not quite sure when he’s back,” she said.
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“He is aiming to come back in September / October time and I think he would have loved to have taken him on.
“I mean of course he is older and it will be difficult for him because he never had a chance to face him.
“I’m sure he would be sad if he never has the chance to face him and see what would happen.”
Croft then added: “To think that men’s tennis has been almost panicking about who is going to take over from the Big Three / Big Four.
“Of course, the vacuum is always filled.”
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Alcaraz was delighted after his victory on Sunday, insisting he’s now ready to win a Grand Slam title.
“Yes yeah I think so,” he said when quizzed on his hopes of glory on the biggest stage.
“I think I’m ready to win a Grand Slam, I’m ready to go for it.
“It’s a goal for me this year to try and get my first Grand Slam. I’m going to work and let’s see what’s going to happen at Roland Garros.
“It feels great to be able to beat these players. To beat two of the best players in history and then Zverev, the World No. 3.
“He is a great player. I would say this is the best week of my life.
“I am 19 years old, which I think is the key to be able to play long and tough matches in a row. I am feeling great physically.”
And he added: “Watching Rafa lift this trophy gave me a lot of power to work hard for this moment.
“It is a great moment for me. It is the first tournament I watched, so lifting the trophy today is so emotional.”
Zverev showed grace in defeat.
And he hailed his opponent as the ‘best player in the world’ while also tipping Alcaraz for more success in the future.
“Right now you are the best player in the world even though you are still five years old, you are still beating us all!” he said.
“It’s great to see for tennis that we have such a new superstar who is going to win so many Grand Slams and is going to be world No 1.
“I think you are going to win this tournament many more times.”
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