CARLOS ALCARAZ has gone from skinny kid to a bulging muscle machine – and is still only 19.
Many believe the Spanish teenager, who celebrated his birthday in May, will go on to achieve huge success in the game thanks to his outrageous talent at such a young age.
He has already beaten Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, picked up two Masters 1000 titles this season and is matching – or even breaking – long-standing records, often set by his idol Nadal.
But as well as his quality with the racket in hand, Alcaraz has proven his dedication to the cause with plenty of work in the weights room.
Photos from the ATP Challenger Tour in August 2019 show the scrawny then-16-year-old barely filling his green match shirt during a tournament in Italy.
And then even coming out of lockdown in 2021, ‘Carlitos’ was still relatively slim.
But over the last year, he has enjoyed a simply stunning body transformation, filling out his 6ft 1in frame.
Alcaraz and his team, headed up by coach and former world No1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, recognised the physical weakness and worked hard to improve his strength and conditioning.
He told the ATP: “My team and I know how important it is to be strong physically.
“It was one thing we knew I had to improve a lot. It was a great focus during pre-season.
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“I am really happy. It gives me more confidence. I have more of a chance to keep my level high during a three or four-hour match against the best players.
“I enjoy the gym. I have been concentrating on every part of the body. I concentrate 100 per cent on the work, my biggest focus is on the legs. This is very important.”
Now Alcaraz is rivalling compatriot Rafa for the biggest biceps in tennis – and the abs he showed off on the front cover of March’s Men’s Health Spain were shredded too.
So when he rocked up with a sleeveless tee at the Australian Open in January after the winter off-season, still aged 18, there was only one thing on the fingertips of tennis viewers on Twitter.
One said: “Is that a young Nadal? The muscles are going that direction.”
Another wrote: “How big Alcaraz has become, look at his size and muscles now, he bludgeons the tennis balls.”
And a third user joked: “Some say, that Carlos Alcaraz’s muscles are so big, they have muscles of their own…”
The teenager reached the quarter-finals on his debut at the US Open last year but back-to-back five-setters saw his body give way and he retired against Felix Auger-Aliassime.
To say he came back stronger would be a serious understatement.
The Nike star and Rolex brand ambassador added to his solo ATP 250 and the Next Gen crown from 2021 by securing the ATP 500 event in Rio in February.
He then followed that up with a stunning run in spring, lifting the titles in Miami, Barcelona and Madrid to take his record in finals to 5-0 and his career ranking into the top ten for the first time.
The Murcia-born youngster had already racked up £4.33million in career prize money before arriving at the 2022 French Open as one of the favourites alongside Nadal and Djokovic.
And he will be desperate to make his mark at Wimbledon this summer – and improve on his second-round exit to Daniil Medvedev as a wildcard on his debut in 2021.
Source: The Sun
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