MURCIA’S Carlos Alcaraz got a surprise fan phoning him on Sunday to congratulate him on winning his first ATP 1000 Masters title at the age of 18.
Alcaraz, from El Palmar, walked off court after defeating Norway’s Casper Ruud in the Miami Open final and spoke to King Felipe.
The youngster, who turns 19 on May 5, said: “It’s pretty amazing to get the call from the Spanish king. I was more nervous that call than during the match.”
“It’s pretty amazing that the king congratulates you on the hard work that you put in every day and your win. It’s something that you never thought you were going to receive,” added Alcaraz.
Alcaraz, coached by former Spanish star and Grand Slam winner, Juan Carlos Ferrero, has raced up to a new ATP world ranking of 11 after becoming the first Spaniard to win the Miami event.
A year ago, he was playing Challenger tournaments as he tried to break into the world top 100.
He started making headlines at the US Open in 2021 when he beat one of the favourites, Stefanos Tsitsipas.
In January, a good run at the Australian Open in Melbourne ended after he lost a final set tie-breaker to last year’s Wimbledon finalist, Matteo Berrettini.
In a Spanish semi-final shoot-out last month at the Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells, Alcaraz was beaten by his idol, Rafa Nadal.
Alcaraz will now focus on the first major of the season, May’s French Open in Paris, which is on his favourite clay surface.
“All I can say is I got two titles on clay and one on hard court. I feel very comfortable on both surfaces, so I don’t mind playing on clay or hard court,” Alcaraz said.
Respected TV pundit and former Grand Slam title holder, Jim Courier, said that he was tipping the teenager to win a major this year, with Wimbledon and the US Open following next month’s French Open.
- Ten curious things you probably don’t know about Spain’s tennis hero Rafa Nadal
- The meteoric rise of Spain’s new tennis sensation Paula Badosa
- Tributes pour in as Spanish tennis legend Manola Santana dies aged 83