Top tennis commentator crushes Carlos Alcaraz criticism

Alcaraz has won two Grand Slams and is still only 20 years old.
Marcelo Endelli/GettyImages

How must it feel to be Carlos Alcaraz? He is still only 20 years old, has previously reached No. 1 on the ATP tour, and has won two Grand Slams and yet still some people seem to be thinking he is beginning to underachieve. He has a decade-plus of great tennis ahead of him; maybe let's hold off on whether he disappointed fans or not for another 15 years.

Some criticism of Alcaraz is logical, of course. Just as criticism of any player makes sense, even Novak Djokovic. Djokovic has won 24 Grand Slams and been ranked No. 1 for more than 400 combined weeks but there are things he could do better. But he is 36 years old and closer to the end of his career than Alcaraz so we have a much longer body of work in which to measure Djokovic against himself.

As far as Carlos Alcaraz, there are times when he is too aggressive, but again, he is 20 years old. He will learn and adjust and adapt and become a better and more efficient player. We just need to give him time to do so without being overly harsh in our expectations, right?

Some seem to forget that Carlos Alcaraz is only 20 years old

Former ATP player and current top tennis commentator, Mark Petchey, recently tempered what should be people's expectations of the young Spaniard while also pushing back on any of the criticism directed at the player. On the Inside-In podcast from the Tennis Channel, Petchey said Alcaraz might only reach "double-digit" Grand Slam wins and that is OK. Getting to 20 or more has likely become too normalized.

According to Petchey, "We live in an unnatural time because we’ve had these three players that have won 20-plus majors and they have made sporting immortality, like normal. So everybody else that’s coming in their shadow is getting judged on this ridiculous benchmark that they are never going to hit. Do I think Carlos is ever gonna hit 20 Grand Slams? I don’t, but will he win double digits? I think he will, pretty good career right?"

Of course, Petchey is 100 percent correct. The vast majority of tennis fans would love to win one major, I assume. Winning 10 or more is beyond the pale for most players. Plus, even after Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are fully retired, Alcaraz will have Jannik Sinner and others to battle with. The future of tennis is in great hands, but we might have to get used to players not winning 20 Grand Slams or more again.

Read more from Lob and Smash