How Carlos Alcaraz, the new king of Center Court, grew up with Federer posters on his wall

How Carlos Alcaraz, the new king of Center Court, grew up with Federer posters on his wall

Like his idol Roger Federer, he is a tennis star who has made stardom who could dominate the sport for years to come.

And Carlos Alcaraz is well on his way after defeating seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic in an intense five-set final at the All England Club today.

The epic win marks only the second Grand Slam win for the young tennis star, aged 20.

Alcaraz is undoubtedly one of the hottest brands in tennis, with multiple lucrative endorsement deals with brands like Calvin Klein, BMW, Rolex and Nike.

And if past winners are anything to go by, today’s win could land him many new contracts. When British tennis star Emma Raducanu won the US Open in 2021 at just 18 years old, she quickly became the face of designer brands Tiffany & Co., Dior and Porsche – to name a few.

His impressive footwork has been compared to that of Federer, his court-covering ability to that of Rafael Nadal and his mental focus to that of an ice-cold Novak Djokovic.

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain lifts his trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the men’s singles final tennis match at the All England Tennis Club on the final day of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships.

This photo shows Alcaraz posing topless for Hearst España

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates victory over Novak Djokovic after the Gentlemen’s Singles Final on Day Fourteen of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships

In this photo, Alcarez poses in Calvin Klein underwear for a Calvin Klein photo shoot.

Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz celebrates after the men’s singles final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day fourteen of the Championships Wimbledon 2023

These are the skills that have seen the Spaniard make a stunning ascent to the world number one seed – a remarkable feat, made all the more remarkable by the fact that he is only 20 years old.

From the small town of El Palmar, just down the coast from the sunny city of Alicante, the US Open winner is the youngest number one in the history of the current ranking system. And with his childhood friend and one-time doubles partner, Denmark’s Holger Rune, he set his sights firmly on the Wimbledon title.

Reports suggest that he is apparently single, having previously dated stunning tennis player Maria Gonzalez Gimenez and glamorous Spanish singer Ana Mena.

You could be forgiven for thinking that a sudden rise to fame would unsettle any young man.

But none of this should come as a surprise to anyone who knew the sportsman when he was growing up, the second of four sporty sons born to devoted father Carlos and mother Virginia, who was most recently a shop assistant at IKEA.

The house is an extravagant two-storey penthouse flat, with an office (for his father) on the second floor and space for the athlete’s ever-inflating collection of kit.

His father, who is also called Carlos and runs an estate agency, handles his accounts and Alcaraz says he doesn’t need flash bling or fast cars – after all, he gets a new BMW every year with his sponsorship.

She told Vogue: ‘I’m quite young and I have ambition, but I’m very normal, normal, humble.

‘I don’t really pay much attention to brands and cars. If I like something, I try to buy it, but in the end my father takes care of everything.’

Alcaraz – who preferred hitting the ball around the neighborhood to going to the cinema – had a poster of his hero Roger Federer on the wall as a child, and his coach says the only distraction for his attention from the ages of nine to 17 was his mobile phone. the phone

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain in the men’s singles final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia

Away from the court, Alcaraz (pictured with his coach Quito Navarro) is a huge Real Madrid fan and has exchanged texts with their players, with Vinicius Jr watching him play live a few times.

Catherine, Princess of Wales presents Carlos Alcaraz with the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles trophy on Center Court

Spain’s Alcarez celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating Norway’s Casper Rudd in the men’s singles final match on day fourteen of the 2022 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 11, 2022.

Alcaraz’s rumored ex-girlfriend is Maria Gonzalez Gimenez

This photo shows Alcaraz posing next to a BMW for a campaign

Alcaraz poses with his trophy in the locker room next to his father Carlos Snarr after defeating Alex de Minaur in the men’s singles final match at Queen’s Club on June 25, 2023

In a complaint familiar to parents around the world, his coach Kiko Navarro as a teenager sighed: ‘When he was young it was sometimes a source of tension because he stayed up late on the mobile and didn’t get the amount of rest. I thought he should.’

But sensitively these days he counts a psychologist among his huge cohorts – and he’s done so with a bit of a fiery temper since childhood.

‘When he was younger he would break the racket if he lost a point or a game and I would have to let him walk around the club alone and cry and relax before I would talk to him about his attitude,’ added Navarro.

‘But that kind of character is fundamental to being a winner. Carlos wants to win in everything he does, even board games.’

A skill, incidentally, he also counts among his talents – his grandfather, 80 and also known as Carlos, taught all his grandchildren to play chess, and credits Alcaraz with helping him think strategically during his games.

Away from the court, he is a huge fan of Real Madrid and has exchanged texts with their players, with Vinicius Jr. watching him play live a few times.

He also has a charity to help people with Down’s syndrome and has auctioned off his US Open-winning trainers to raise money for the charity Acido.

But it’s his attitude that stands out – another thing he inherited from his family.

If he lifts the championship trophy on Sunday, eagle-eyed viewers will spot a small tattoo on his mighty forehead.

The three ‘Cs’, standing for Cerebro, Corazon and Cojon – Brain, Heart and Ball – are a poignant nod to his grandfather’s mantra.

But without the financial support of Alfonso Lopez Rueda, the tennis-loving president of Spanish cake and yogurt giant Postrace Reyna, Alcaraz Jr.’s story could have ended like his father’s, a promising player due to lack of funds. .

López Rueda learned about the young talent when he was asked to watch the young Alcaraz by a friend at a tennis club.

With an arsenal of shots that belied his 10-year age, he banked 2,000 euros for Alcaraz to go to a junior tournament in Croatia. He lost in the final but Postrace Reina funded him until he turned professional with their logo on his sleeve.

This childhood photo shows Alcaraz playing tennis as a boy

Alcaraz is depicted as a young boy with his coach, Kiko Navarro

Alcaraz poses with Roger Federer (left) and Rafael Nadal (right)

Now Alcaraz has won his Wimbledon final match with Novak Djokovic.

The pair met for the first time in a Grand Slam last month in the semi-finals of the French Open in the most anticipated match of the year so far.

It lived up to its billing for two pulsating sets before Alcaraz was struck by cramps, which he later blamed on the tension of the situation.

With Alcaraz and Djokovic the top two seeds at the All England Club, a rematch can only come in the final, where the young Spaniard will be keen to show he has learned from what happened in Paris.

The 20-year-old is far less experienced than his rival, particularly on grass, but showed how quickly he has learned by lifting the trophy at Queen’s Club, overtaking Djokovic to regain the world number one ranking.

Alcarez celebrates with the trophy after winning the final against Australia’s Alex De Minor at the Queen’s Club tennis tournament on June 25, 2023 in London

Alcaraz celebrates after defeating Nicolas Jarry of Chile during day six of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Saturday, July 8, 2023.

‘I started Queens with no expectation of winning Queens and I won it,’ he said. “It feels great to play at such a great level. Confidence increased a lot.

‘I’m coming into Wimbledon with a lot of confidence, thinking I can do well here. But, obviously, the main favorite for me is Djokovic.

‘My expectations are high. I think I can put pressure on other players, even Djokovic. But what I can say is that I feel very confident and I feel ready to do well here.’

The player, who earlier this year admitted to studying videos of Federer and Murray for developing his grass court skills, said: ‘I was always a very talented kid. But I’ve always worked hard, because if you’re talented and don’t try, you’ll get nowhere.’

But does Alcarez see himself as the new Federer or Nadal?

‘I don’t want to be the next Rafa or Roger,’ he says. ‘I want to be the new Carlitos.’


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