Cameron Norrie, the ninth seed in the ongoing Rome Masters, has praised teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz for his physique and big game mentality.
Norrie hailed Alcaraz’s performance at Barcelona two weeks ago, where the Spaniard saved two match points against Alex de Minaur in the semi-finals before ousting veteran Pablo Carreno Busta in the final.
“For someone who just turned 19, what he did in Barcelona too, playing back-to-back games, playing 3:40 with De Minaur, going out and cutting Carreno in the final, doing that and having that physique to that age is impressive,” Norrie said. “I’m 26, and I played 3:30 at Barcelona and I must have played 2, and I was cooked.
The world number 11 described Alcaraz’s rise as “impressive” and “good for the sport”.
“For me to see him do that, not only have the physicality but have the ability to focus mentally and then also back it up and beat Nadal, back it up the next day and beat Djokovic and then chop Zverev. is impressive, and it’s cool for the sport,” he said.
Meanwhile, Norrie is in the second round in Rome, where he will face Marin Cilic.
Alcaraz, 19, has been in tears this year, claiming 28 wins and four tour-leading titles. At the Madrid Masters on Sunday, he beat three successive top-five opponents and former champions – Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev.
This makes him Madrid’s youngest winner and the youngest player in 17 years to win multiple Masters 1000 tournaments (since Nadal – 2005). In the process, he climbed to 6th place in the world rankings.
Carlos Alcaraz withdraws from Rome, hopes to return fresh for Roland Garros
Carlos Alcaraz sprained his ankle in his quarter-final win over Nadal in Madrid. However, that didn’t seem to hinder the young Spaniard in his next two matches. Alcaraz beat top seed Djokovic in a third-set tie-break before dismantling defending champion Zverev in straight sets.
However, Alcaraz’s debut in Rome will have to wait a year as he pulled out of the tournament to prepare for Roland Garros.
The teenager gave the reason for his withdrawal from Roma in a press conference after his title victory in Madrid.
“I think, you know, given the condition of my feet and my ankle, I’m really excited to fight for a Grand Slam. I think it’s better to rest, get my ankle back, get my feet back, be in Paris 100%,” he said.
After his impressive exploits this year, Alcaraz will be hoping to break through the Roland Garros stronghold of 13-time winner Nadal.