There’s something about that seemingly ever-present smile of Carlos Alcaraz that endures tennis fans. Maybe it’s that he appears to play with the joy and passion that we want from all tennis players. But really, expecting a player to always be happy is expecting them not to be human. Instead, a player like John McEnroe just seemed more true.
No offense to Carlos Alcaraz, of course. He’s reached a high level of success far faster than any other player. But Alcaraz isn’t going to win every tournament he enters, of course, and he will go through periods of not reaching his own expectations. In fact, he might be going through one now as he hasn’t won a tournament since he defeated Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in early July.
Will Alcaraz’s smile begin to fade a bit? John McEnroe thinks so. But McEnroe wasn’t being mean about saying so; He was just trying to be honest with SmartLess hosts Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett.
John McEnroe thinks Carlos Alcaraz could be miserable one day
According to John McEnroe and addressing Alcaraz directly, “Give it a couple of years until you are miserable like the rest of us.” Again, he didn’t wish misery upon Alcaraz nor did he think the Spaniard was being disingenuous with his constant smile. John McEnroe was speaking from decades of experience of playing tennis at a high level and then commentating on the sport on television for many years.
Of course, maybe Alcaraz will be the outlier who continues to love the sport and doesn’t get overly frustrated with the travel, constant practice, and the times of not being as successful as one hopes. He is only 20 years old, of course. Let’s hope by 22 years old he isn’t becoming more burned out.
The SmartLess hosts also asked John McEnroe if he “loved” tennis. He found the answer difficult. He said he’d never played where there wasn’t a chance of working toward compensation or winning a tournament so he never truly played just for fun. We can also hope McEnroe gets to do that one day.