This story is translated from ATPTour.com/es.
The buzz around Carlos Alcaraz at any ATP Tour tournament is always deafening, but not just among his fans as he competes, practices or moves around the venue. When he returns to the private areas, such as the changing rooms and the players’ lounge, it is also difficult for him to find silence.
He is inundated with congratulatory messages wherever he goes, exclamations of surprise at his mere presence, people asking for autographs and photos – even with players – and those wanting to engage him in conversation. And yet he treats everyone as friends. Amidst all the noise, it is easy to hear his polite greetings to anyone who crosses his path.
“I try to be friendly, warm, get on with everyone. It’s more important to be a good person than anything else. At the end of my career, I want people to remember me, more than as a tennis player, as someone with good values. At the end of the day, you only spend a few hours a day on the court, the rest of your life you’re out of it. That’s why, at those times, I also try to use the manners that my parents taught me,” explains the recent Wimbledon champion.
Judging by the opinions of some of his peers, he seems to be achieving his goal. “As a tennis player, there is no doubt,” says Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis of Alcaraz, whom he has known since they crossed paths on the ATP Challenger Tour. “But I think he’s an even better person. He’s so good and well-behaved… At the end of the day, that’s what matters.”
Many other players agree.
“He’s a 10 out of 10 guy, really funny and nice,” says Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena. “He wishes you luck when you play, he asks you how you are, talks to you normally. It’s unbelievable that he’s at such a high level and winning such big tournaments and that he’s so normal. He’s still the same as when I met him years ago and trained together in Spain.”
Alcaraz’s humility and spontaneity in front of his fans and in front of cameras and the press is also evident to many of his fellow players. But his upbringing is not the only reason for his behavior off the field. His proximity to Juan Carlos Ferrero is also a factor. The former world number 1 plays a big part in keeping his charge’s feet firmly on the ground and ensuring he doesn’t forget his roots.
“He’s a charming and humble boy. His coach is doing a phenomenal job of guiding him in that regard because he’s been through the same thing. I’m so happy that everything is going so well for them,” said Roberto Bautista Agut.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina agrees: “They have brought him up with great values, but having an ex-world No. 1 like Juanki as a coach is also an advantage for him because he helps him by telling him how to develop and how to act.”
Alcaraz might be busy leaving a tournament venue, in the zone while waiting to enter Center Court, or angry when leaving after a loss… but even in those tense moments, he’s happy to have friendly interactions with others.
“There are players who get more serious in the competition and off the field they are distant. I’m the opposite, I try to get on with everyone,” Alcaraz said. “At the end of the day, those are the people I want to spend the whole year with. There’s no point in getting out with those people.
It is no coincidence then that his biggest rivals are some of his best friends on tour. That’s how it is with Jannik Sinner. After losing to the Italian in the semi-finals of the ATP Masters 1000 in Miami last March, the Spaniard wished him luck for the final. “Go for it, I’ll cheer you on,” he told him with a smile as they shook hands.
His charisma is so evident in the locker room that even some of his victims, still in search of defeat, are partly happy for Carlitos. This was visible in the first season of the Netflix series Break Point, when Frances Tiafoe sought out the Spaniard after losing to him in the semi-finals of the 2022 US Open. “You want to be world No. 1. You deserve it,” the American told him as they embraced.
His character, coupled with his precocious success, makes him a magnetic personality to many, including other stars of the game. Horacio Zeballos, for example, was one of those who asked him for a picture after his successful participation in Wimbledon.
“Thank you for your usual humility,” the Argentine said in his Instagram post of his photo with the No. 1 Pepperstone ATP ranking. “You’re the best!” Alcaraz replied.
It seems that the more successful he is on the field, the more approachable and human he becomes off it. An anecdote from Bagnis is proof of that.
“I once asked him for a birthday video for a friend,” Bagnis recalls. “He could have said no, ignored me or told me what day to do it. But he responded by asking me when I had time so we could do it. I thought that was really something.
“He did me a favor and ended up considering my availability. It’s amazing that someone so important and so good is still so kind, well-mannered and proper.”
It is no coincidence that Alcaraz is one of the most beloved players among fans, his peers and tennis lovers in general. But his success on the field is only a minor reason for his popularity.