Former World No.1 believes Alcaraz could be world's best player within three years
The retired Russian tennis professional admits to being a big fan of the 18-year old, and predicts that Alcaraz could be ranked World No.1 within three years if he maintains his rapidly improving game.
“I am a big fan. The kid is very good for the game of tennis," said Kafelnikov. "He is young, he is talented and has huge potential to get to the place where I think he can get.”
After his shocking third round win over World No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas and his equally impressive fourth round victory over German Peter Gojowczyk, Alcaraz became the youngest male player to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open since 1963.
When asked about his future in the game, Kafelnikov predicted that Alcaraz could top the rankings in three years.
“I stick to that statement and I will tell you why. Lately, his game has matured a lot, since what I saw last year for example,” he explained.
“After the match, even Tsitsipas himself in the interview said that he never played against anybody who was hitting the ball so hard. One player who hits the ball hard is Andrey Rublev, and Rublev and Tsitsipas are good friends; for Tsitsipas to say that about Alcaraz, it is a big deal.
“He is definitely not a typical Spanish player. He does not like to be one the baseline always, to sort of wait for the opponent’s mistakes. No, he likes to create the point and finish it at the net, his mindset is offensive tennis. He has got the game and, if he keeps going the same way, I am sure that he will be the best ranked player in the world in a maximum of three years.”
Alcaraz is set to face 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarterfinals, with both men vying for a spot in their first Grand Slam semifinal.