Alcaraz’s coach delivers scary warning as Spaniard sets sights on Djokovic | Tennis | Sport

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach has warned the Spanish superstar has yet to reach his “full potential” after he won his third Grand Slam aged only 21 at the French Open.

And the smiling Wimbledon champion said he will “hopefully” equal the record of 24 Major titles held by Novak Djokovic.

John McEnroe hailed Alcaraz’s talent and claimed: “He’s better than Federer, Nadal and Djokovic at 21.” The world No.2 already has the all-round game to become the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces.

But the scary prospect for the rest of the sport is that his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero has claimed the best is still to come. “He can get better in a lot of things,” said the 2003 French Open winner.

“He has not achieved his full potential – he is a long way from that. We are looking to find this mental stability which he lacks so he can maintain a very high level throughout. That will come with experience. We need to continue to get better.”

Alcaraz needed to come back from two sets to one down in both his semi-final win over world No.1 Jannik Sinner and Olympic champion Alex Zverev in the final.

“The lesson I learned from this tournament is that mental strength wins you matches,” he said. “It’s not enough to play brilliantly, to play your best tennis, if I want to win. If you are not strong in your head, you will not win a Grand Slam, no matter your level.

“If you are physically perfect, you play the tennis of your life, but if you are not strong in the head, you will not succeed.”

He will next defend his Queen’s Club title before bidding to become only the sixth man in the Open era – after Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic – to win the French Open-Wimbledon double in the same season.

And at the Australian Open in January, he will get the chance to join more elite company by completing his career Grand Slam. “The Grand Slams are obviously part of our aims,” his fellow Spaniard Ferrero told L’Equipe.

“Whatever tournament, Carlos is going to be among the favourites. He must remain relaxed so that this status does not weigh too heavily on him and so that he can continue to play his wonderful tennis.”

Asked if he can reach the tally of 24 Grand Slam singles titles shared by Djokovic and Margaret Court, Alcaraz smiled: “I don’t know. I hope so. I talked to Juan Carlos (Ferrero) just yesterday before this final.

“He told me: ‘You’re going to fight for your third Grand Slam title, with everything you have been through, and you know the difficult part of winning a Grand Slam, and Djoko has 24. So it is unbelievable’.

“Right now I can’t think about it. I just want to keep going, and let’s see how many Grand Slams I’m gonna take at the end of my career. Hopefully I will reach 24, but right now I’m going to enjoy my third one, and let’s see in the future.”

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