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Less than four months ago, an already accomplished Carlos Alcaraz stunned the tennis world by defeating Novak Djokovic to claim his very first Wimbledon title in just under five hours.

Many believed, including his major sponsor Nike, that it would be the end of Djokovic’s reign over the four majors and the start of something new, dubbing it the dawn of the ‘Alcaraz Era’.

Commentators and past players speculated that Alcaraz could become a great player in men’s tennis in the future, with 7-time Grand Slam Champion Jimmy Connors saying that he has the potential to win in excess of 15 majors. It is amazing how situations and circumstances can rapidly change, isn’t it?

Fast forward four months to the end of the 2023 ATP season, and Alcaraz has won no further titles, lost to Djokovic twice, including quite heavily at the recent ATP Finals, and has only been able to amass an 18-8 W/L record.

Now, it would be completely normal to believe that there is a major problem that he needs to rectify, which he obviously does, but some comments from social media users saying that he ‘will never win a slam again’ or that he is ‘finished’ are quite unfathomable to me.

Even if Alcaraz was to retire or completely drop off in form and not reach the lofty heights he has reached in the last two years, he has already achieved so much.

He has won a major title as a teenager, become the youngest World Number One in history, and remarkably, he was the one who ended the arguable GOAT Novak Djokovic’s 4-year stranglehold on the Wimbledon Championships.

However, I do not believe there is any course of action for major concerns.

He is only 20 years old, and like fellow young stars Holger Rune and Jannik Sinner, likely has 10–15 years of professional tennis in front of him.

Most remember that even the best players in history, like Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, struggled early on in their careers with different challenges.

He must rectify this drop in form, however, and I believe that the end-of-season break he is having right now will definitely assist and play a major part in this, but there is another aspect he must consider.

It is very visible to see now, obviously due to changing expectations because of his massive success, that Alcaraz’s mentality and level-headed nature that we have become accustomed to has definitely taken somewhat of a hit.

In many of his matches recently, it seems there is something hanging over his head, as he is playing very tense and making a lot of errors.

This is very clear to see as he isn’t a carefree teenager with no expectations anymore; instead, he is a two-time major champion and a constant name when discussing who is the best player in the world.

All players have slumps, and this is definitely one for the Spaniard.

It is quite evident that he has not worked out quite yet how to manage his body to be able to compete at near 100% fitness for a full season.

This is obviously the second year in a row where he has played an entire season but has surprisingly faded towards the back end.

Remember, though, that he is still only 20 years old.

Like every other challenge he has faced so far, I have no doubt, like in the case of women’s number one Iga Swiatek, that he and his team will work out solutions and that he will be back in form for the Australian Open.

Maybe he could even surprise us and dethrone Djokovic in Melbourne as well. You would be quite ignorant and naive to put it past him.


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