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Alcaraz Faces Pressure to Sustain Success in “Transition Year”

Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz, who has not won a title in seven months, is in a “transition year,” in which he faces greater pressures to maintain the level that has taken him to the top of tennis, former Iberian player David Ferrer said on Friday.

“He’s number two in the world (in the ATP ranking), you also can’t expect a 20-year-old player to always win,” said the former world number three and captain of the Spanish Davis Cup team at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro.

“Carlos has played at an extremely high level over the past year and a half, he has won two Grand Slams, a Masters 1000. It is also true that it is a progression: (at first) you don’t play with as much pressure because you just started. Now, Carlos is in a year of transition, a year where there is logically going to be more pressure because he has to maintain that level,” he added.

Alcaraz has had a complicated start to the season, coupled with a title drought that began after his Wimbledon victory last July.

He fell in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January, in the semifinals of the Buenos Aires ATP 250 last Saturday and withdrew in the first round of the Rio ATP 500 on Tuesday due to a sprained right ankle, which will keep him out “a few days,” he said.

The irregular pace comes at a time when Italian Jannik Sinner, Australian Open champion, is approaching the number two spot in the world rankings.

“You can’t win everything, I don’t remember Rafa (Nadal), Roger (Federer) or (Novak) Djokovic winning everything at that age either. They also had more critical moments, and it’s an evolution, a maturity. They are different players and Carlos will make history. I don’t know at what level, but in Spain he will be the second best in the history of our sport,” Ferrer said.

“He is intelligent, he is aware and he evolves, that is why I say that he is a special player, of the stature of Rafa, Roger or Novak,” the now 41-year-old coach pointed out.

The former tennis player is participating in the celebration of the tenth edition of the Rio ATP 500 tournament, a competition he won in 2015.

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