Three potentially biggest challengers to Carlos Alcaraz’s throne

Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports /
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Carlos Alcaraz has about a decade-and-a-half more (at least!) to dominate tennis. By the time he is done, he could leave Novak Djokovic’s 23 Grand Slam titles far in the dust. 30 Grand Slams? It is a real possibility for Carlos Alcaraz if no young challengers step forward to keep him from winning every major for the foreseeable future.

Is the possibility of Alcaraz so thoroughly dominating tennis for the next decade a good thing for the sport? Probably not. People tire of one person or team always winning everything. Plus, what happens if Alcaraz gets injured? A ton of parity isn’t good for an individual sport either.

Basically, Alcaraz will be walking the fine line of being an all-time great while not destroying his competition so much that the general population stops caring so much about how many majors Alcaraz has won. So who could potentially be three of the biggest challengers to Alcaraz over the next decade (or more)?

Carlos Alcaraz challenger No. 1 – Martin Landaluce

Martin Landaluce hasn’t yet won an ATP tour-level match. He is 0-3 for his career and 0-2 in 2023. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t good. In fact, Landaluce has the kind of well-rounded game that once he develops all his tools, he should be able to compete on any surface. He recently even had a 16-game winning streak on grass, unusual for a junior, but especially a non-Brit.

Landaluce is an alum of the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy in Mallorca, Spain, so his coaching is top-level. He also won the US Open junior title last year. Sure, that’s not ATP level, but it does show he understands what it takes to make a run at a grueling major, even if it was a junior title.

Landaluce isn’t ready to beat Alcaraz right now. But he has a heavy two-handed backhand and can hit the ball cleanly down the line with consistency. His forehand is going to be a weapon and he just needs to be more consistent. But the 6’3″ right-hander should develop a fantastic serve and eventually will be a problem for Alcaraz.