Heading into the French Open, Carlos Alcaraz was one of the hot favorites to win the tournament alongside Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. He crashed out in the quarter-finals after losing to Alexander Zverev but retains the confidence that he’s ready to go again at Wimbledon and could land the big prize.
It’s fair to say that in elite sports, you must always retain confidence in your ability. And, after a four-set loss at the quarter-final stage at Roland Garros, you’d find many who don’t then fancy their chances at Wimbledon a few weeks later. But nineteen-year-old Spaniard Alcaraz doesn’t only think he can put give a good account of himself at SW19; he believes he can win the showpiece tournament.
So far, Alcaraz, who turned professional in 2018, has only ever made the second round at Wimbledon. But, as the current world number seven and up against aging foes in Djokovic and Nadal, there is a lot of belief that with youth on his side, he could well be in the mix to pull it off. At the time of writing, he’s priced at the same odds as Nafal to win the men’s singles event at Wimbledon, so choosing between the two players is more or less the same as predicting whether the result is red or black on a spin at any online roulette table.
But are Alcaraz’s ambitions realistic at this stage? The Spaniard’s Grand Slam singles record currently stands at reaching the third round at the Australian Open and then the quarter-finals at the French Open in 2022. In 2021, he exited Wimbledon in the second round and made the quarters at the US Open. So, you could suggest from this that he’s moving in the right direction. But, going from being a player who can make the quarters in the two of the four Grand Slams to winning the big one could be slightly out of reach at this moment.
Speaking after defeat at the French Open, Alcaraz gave an insight into his thinking by saying, “I am going to try to take the positive things of the match, and of course, the bad things that I did, to improve to the next matches or next tournaments or next Grand Slams. I was close to a good match, close to a fifth set, and in the fifth set, everything could happen. I’m going to take a lesson from this match.”
So, it remains to be seen just how far Alcaraz can go at Wimbledon. If confidence and self-belief are anything to go by, he could well upset the odds. But, another quarter-finals appearance would be a sign of further progress. However, this is Wimbledon, and if the Spaniard does make it to the latter stages, with Centre Court behind him, you never know what could happen. Victory at SW19 is not beyond the realms of possibility.