EVERT’S FAVOURITE IN PARIS?
I think Carlos Alcaraz is primed for the French Open title. I am jumping on the bandwagon with Alcaraz. We haven’t seen a player with that much passion and that much hunger in a long time.
ALCARAZ IS ONLY 20. ARE YOU SURPRISED BY HOW COMPLETE HIS GAME APPEARS TO BE?
I don’t know how he can improve anymore, honestly. The beauty in his game is that he has no weaknesses whatsoever. His opponents don’t stand a chance, unless he’s having a bad day. Other top players in the past, they’ve been brilliant, but you always felt like there was some sort of weakness in their game. No other player possesses the defensive and offensive abilities that Alcaraz exhibits.
WHAT ARE ALCARAZ’S BEST QUALITIES?
The guy has it all; he’s got the athleticism, the skillset, he knows defense and he knows offense. He is the best mover on the ATP Tour by far, in my opinion. He has the mental edge as well, which is confidence – he thinks he should win any match that he plays, and he shows sheer passion and delight every time he hits a ball. He’s also very creative and adapts very well. I think this is definitely going to be his year. I don’t see how it can’t be unless he gets injured. I have high expectations.
ARE WE WRITING OFF NOVAK DJOKOVIC TOO QUICKLY?
If Djokovic wasn’t struggling with an elbow injury, I would have a different view. I am not dismissing him, but I just feel his preparation isn’t great, but he obviously has the experience. He knows better than anyone how to navigate this career and the emotions that come alongside. He could come out of the starting gate playing vintage tennis, but on current form, you would have to slightly favour Alcaraz.
WHAT UNDERDOGs ARE YOU KEEPING AN EYE ON?
Jannik Sinner has come a long way, and working with coach Darren Cahill has only improved his professional game. He has gone toe-to-toe with Alcaraz a few times, but I would still back Alcaraz to come through and take the title given what we have seen on the court in the first weeks of this clay-court season.
WHAT IS YOUR VIEW OF RISING STAR HOLGER RUNE?
I’ve been impressed by Rune. I don’t think he’s going to win the French Open, but I think he is dangerous. He is already in the top ten himself and is more than capable of knocking out a top player in Paris. Stefanos Tsitsipas is playing well and Taylor Fritz is also in the mix, but there’s no denying that Alcaraz is the man to beat.
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