On Sunday, 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz won the Miami Open, beating Casper Ruud in the final to become the youngest winner of the tournament in its 37-year history.
Alcaraz was also lauded by Spain’s King Felipe VI.
“I was more nervous [for] that call than the match,” a smiling Alcaraz said after winning the Miami Open.
“It’s pretty amazing that the Spanish king congratulates you on the hard work that you put every day and your win. It’s something that you never thought you were going to receive, a Spanish king call. It’s amazing.”
Influence of coach Juan Carlos Ferrero
Alcaraz beat world No. 8 Ruud 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 52 minutes in the final at the Hard Rock Stadium, rising to a career high No. 11 in the world rankings as a result.
The Spanish teenager is coached by compatriot and former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero.
Initially Ferrero had not been at the Miami Open because of the recent death of his father, but surprised Alcaraz by arriving ahead of Sunday’s final.
They first began working together in 2018, and Ferrero admitted it didn’t take him long to realize Alcaraz was special.
“It means that he has something and is going to keep working on that and keep working every day. So his potential was there, and I was only [there] to let it flow and let it play and keep things in a good path.
“So it surprises me not at all, but of course it’s been very, very fast and very quick, so not easy to do it.”
And after becoming the third youngest player Masters 1000 champion after Michael Chang and Nadal, Alcaraz praised the impact Ferrero has had on him, on and off the court.
“Juan Carlos, I consider him a coach and a friend as well. So I can talk to him about everything.”
The win continues an excellent year for Alcaraz — now comprised of 18 wins and just two losses — and firmly roots himself as the hottest prospect in tennis.