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via Reuters

Carlos Alcaraz is potentially at the peak of his glorious career. Having conquered all three surfaces, the 21-year-old phenom is the youngest player to achieve this remarkable feat. While his natural talent is undeniable, a significant portion of his success is owed to his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, who has been guiding the French Open winner since he was a teenager. But it’s not just Alcaraz’s skills that have flourished under his coach’s mentorship, there’s much more to the story.

Speaking to El Partidazo de Cope, Alcaraz’s agent Albert Molina highlighted the World No.2’s journey that led him to his current feat. He recalled that the first time he saw Alcaraz play was when he was just 13 years old. Recognizing his potential, he started accompanying the young talent for his matches and strategizing to elevate his global presence. However, the major hindrance was the absence of a top coach for Alcaraz. 

While the team decided to get Juan Carlos Ferrero, a former World No.1, it was difficult because he was then training Alexander Zverev, who interestingly became Alcaraz’s opponent in the French Open Finals this year. However, fate seemed to be in Alcaraz’s favor, as Ferrero and Zverev parted ways. This opened the door for Molina to approach Ferrero with a proposal. The 2003 French Open Winner agreed and his expertise has been crucial in Alcaraz’s rise through the ATP ranks since then.  

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Since Alcaraz was in the initial phase of his career, finance was a major challenge. As Albert revealed, some funding came from his bosses at IGM. “I talked to my bosses, I told them that in Spain there is a kid with a good projection, and from the United States they give me OK,” he said in Spanish. “With a part of the Money helped us and Ferrero on the other hand. He made the effort and invested in the future.” 

Albert further recalled that Ferrero was aware that he wouldn’t be paid enough despite being a top-tier coach, since Alcaraz was just in the initial stage of his career. “When he accepted and started working with Carlos, he was aware that he was not going to enter or be paid like Ferrero, as a coach of a top player.” However, despite the less financial involvement, Ferrero did not back out and started coaching the then-15-year-old Alcaraz. 

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While their partnership has now grown for over six years, the bond remains fresh and young! It hasn’t been long since the 21-year-old’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, opened up about the remarkable bond he shares with his mentee.

“I am his friend” – When Juan Carlos Ferrero 0pened about his relationship with Alcaraz

In an interview, that featured on ATPTour.com, Ferrero highlighted their relationship on and off the court. Speaking about the dual role that he plays, the 44-year-old explained, “Our relationship is still the same. It’s a very close relationship that can obviously change at different moments during the day.” He further added that he is only a coach on the field and their bond off of it, is different. “There are times when I’m purely his coach, but at other times I’m his friend.”

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Further in the interview, Ferrero also praised Alcaraz’s maturity despite his young age. He said that while it is tough for growing kids to agree with their coaches instantly, Alcaraz has demonstrated maturity. “I don’t think anyone has been mature at that age. Obviously, playing tennis you mature a lot earlier, but I think he still has a ways to go because he’s very young.”

The dedication and faith Ferrero has invested in Alcaraz highlights the strength of effective coaching. As Alcaraz continues to ascend the ranks, becoming one of the most successful players in men’s tennis history, the crucial role of his coach cannot be ignored!