Carlos Alcaraz Garfia, an 18-year-old tennis phenom from Spain, has a golden opportunity at the Australian Open.
With world No. 1 Novak Djokovic out of the men’s single draw on account of being deported from Australia for being unvaccinated against COVID-19, Alcaraz and Matteo Berrettini are favorites at DraftKings to win his vacated quarter at the tournament — meaning reaching the final four from their draw — at 3/1, as of Monday morning.
Alcaraz is currently ranked 31st in the world in ATP rankings, and there are signs he could rocket up from here.
At the 2021 U.S. Open, Alcaraz reached the quarterfinals. Along the way, he upset Stefanos Tsitsipas, ranked third in the world, in a fifth set tiebreak in the third round.
Alcaraz became the youngest player to reach a grand slam quarterfinal in over 30 years — since Michael Chang did so at the French Open in 1990. Alcaraz was the youngest U.S. Open finalist since Thomaz Koch accomplished the feat 58 years prior.
“It’s a dream come true, no?” Alcaraz said after defeating Peter Gojowczyk in five sets. “It’s really tough to play these kind of matches, to play fifth sets. I hope to play more second weeks, to play more quarterfinals of grand slams. I didn’t expect to play quarterfinals here; so it’s a really good performance from me in these matches.”
Alcaraz ultimately had to retire in the second set of his quarterfinal match against Félix Auger-Aliassime due to a right leg injury.
“It’s really tough to end a great tournament like this,” Alcaraz said. “I mean, I had no choice.”
Alcaraz is coached by Juan Carlos Ferrero, a fellow Spaniard who was the former world No. 1 and winner of the 2003 French Open.
“I had a good career, but he can do even better,” Ferrero said of Alcaraz in 2020.
During his U.S. Open run, Alcaraz said his style of play was most similar to Roger Federer’s.
“Honestly, I don’t copy any style of players. I just play my game,” Alcaraz said in September. “But if I have to say one player that is similar to my game, I think it’s Federer. I think it’s similar to my game, trying to be aggressive all the time with the forehand, backhand. I think I have to improve the serve a little bit. But I think it’s similar.”