Sunny, the fortnight was lit by a smile. The one that Carlos Alcaraz walks permanently slung over his shoulder. He has the brilliance and carefree of youth. It diffuses a contagious warmth and brilliance that spreads far from the lines of the court. Roland-Garros has seen Björn Borg's headband, Victor Pecci's diamond in his ear, Yannick Noah's dreadlocks, Michael Chang's spoon serve, André Agassi's denim shorts, Rafael Nadal's pants or Roger Federer's entrechats pass by, before falling under the spell of a smile. Painted on a face barely out of adolescence. Carried by a player who plays as he lives. For the pleasure of the game. An attitude that attracts attention like a magnet, fascinates.
- Roland Garros Men's Singles
- Roland Garros Women's Singles
I have never seen a player of this level take as much pleasure as you, "said, bluffed, Mats Wilander to Carlos Alcaraz who assures: "The smile is, for me, the key to everything. Juan Carlos (Ferrero, his coach) always tells me that the important thing is to have fun. I try not to take things too seriously. I try to forget all that is serious and enjoy what I do on the court."
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When some come forward and express themselves with furrowed eyebrows, dark circles, dragging the tired air of haunted players, worn out by the urgency of the result, Carlos Alcaraz (20 years old) reminds us that tennis is and remains a game. The lines have remained the same as those that framed his childhood and dreams. A detachment that, on the circuit, infuses. "One day in training, I said thank you. I owe a lot to "Carlito", because it's a breath of fresh air. He really wants to win but he always has a smile. He has so much charisma, so much positive energy that he distributes to everyone. This also contributes to his evolution and consistency as a player. Last year, I wanted to apply it in my game and not necessarily on the technical aspects... I admire him for who he is. That's why I'm happier, happier when I play tennis, thanks to him," Tsitsipas said.
Smile, to open up. Offer. Wind cutting like a razor blade, feverish evening or cooler night, nothing fades Carlos Alcaraz's smile. After living to the rhythm of the exploits of the trio composed of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the tennis world obsessed with the race for records wondered what it would be able to offer. Before letting yourself be carried away by the charm, the pleasure and the desire for a childish smile. Contagious. Liberator. "I'm a big fan. He is very humble about his achievements at such a young age. You can see how much fun he's having on the court. It's not an easy position to be No. 1 at such a young age. It makes a lot of noise, and so I admire it, "smiles Denis Shapovalov.
Carlos Alcaraz who, since his adolescence, advances with the weight of comparisons with Rafael Nadal has adorned his rise and his performances with a carnation in the buttonhole. Worn with grace, like the fragrances of a subtle perfume. A precious smile in an environment often looped in double turn where emotions are padlocked, except to scream after a point scored. The variety of the Spaniard's shots, the staggering speed of his races are praised, the (possible) progress dissected. But the most valuable is elsewhere. Antonio Martínez Cascales, co-coach of the prodigy explained to Mundo Deportivo: "We are not asking him to win another Grand Slam this year. He's going to try, of course. We just ask him to keep playing the way he does, to stay the way he is, on and off the court. That is one of the keys. When he's not smiling, we tell him to smile. If you want a player to last, it's even more fundamental." Early in his career, Roger Federer took care of his physique. Carlos Alcaraz must pay attention to his smile. So that his game expresses itself freely...