Marin Cilic compares Carlos Alcaraz to top Spaniard: ‘But he has a better forehand’
Marin Cilic said Carlos Alcaraz reminds him of a highly-ranked Spanish player, and that Lorenzo Musetti is “half a step in front” of the 17-year-old.
The 2014 US Open champion compared the young Spaniard to world No. 12 Pablo Carreno Busta, who trains at Juan Carlos Ferrero’s academy. Former world No. 1 Ferrero is Alcaraz’s coach.
Cilic defeated world No. 120 Alcaraz in three sets in the opening round of the Estoril Open ATP 250 event on Wednesday.
“He was fighting really hard. But I think that’s also a Spanish school of tennis. They are extremely disciplined, they play very hard, they are pushing themselves physically and you can see that he is also a hard worker,” Cilic said in an interview after beating Alcaraz
“[Those] are great things for the sport and those things are going to help him to improve. I would say [Carlos’ game is] not too far from Pablo Carreno Busta’s just with the style, but I would say Carlos has just a bit [of a] better forehand and I would say Pablo has a better backhand.
“Being 17 and already with that kind of a game that he’s got, he’s going to be only improving with matches at this level. He will definitely have with more and more matches a better and better game and he’s going to be lifting up [his level].
“I think Juan Carlos is a great coach for him in that sense because I think Juan Carlos also played a similar game to his: great forehand, moving really well, very solid backhand, returning good.
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“Definitely he can improve in some shots and parts of his game, but already he is looking like a pro player and playing really well at this level.”
Cilic also beat Lorenzo Musetti – another of the ATP tour’s brightest young stars – at the Miami Open last month.
“Lorenzo likes to play a little bit further away from the baseline, likes to open up the court, uses angles, has got really good touch. He’s got also a one-hander, plays the slice and I think clay is his favourite surface,” Cilic said on the 19-year-old Italian.
“I feel he’s just maybe half a step in front of Carlos. Carlos is just getting on the tour [and he has] a bit [of a] different game.
“Carlos is playing more aggressive and also trying to attack, putting pressure on the opponent and I think both of those games that they have can improve a lot.”