Alcaraz was asked by tennis legend Jim Courier about his favourite players after revealing that he ‘loves to watch every match’ that he can. He singled out Daniil Medvedev, Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner before he was put on the spot about the WTA players he enjoys watching, but the 20-year-old was unable to name any names and was left covering his tracks.
“I watch WTA as well. I mean, when I can obviously,” replied Alcaraz. “When I turn the TV on if it’s WTA, ATP, whatever. I like to watch it, obviously.”
Petchey, who has been covering the Australian Open as a pundit, was unhappy with the reaction to Alcaraz’s interview on social media and took aim at what he felt was a lack of ‘critical thinking’ in some quarters.
Posting on X, formerly Twitter, Petchey wrote: “One of the reasons I will be deleting this app the moment I am no longer wanted for commentary (am sure that day can’t come soon enough for some) is that there is zero critical thinking on here or nuance. It was so blindingly obvious why Carlos Alcaraz didn’t want to put a name to who he watched on the WTA tour.
“I even said it after he had finished. You want to know why players become robots in interviews, it’s precisely to stop those type of situations occurring. Nothing will overshadow how fun that performance was to watch though.”
Alcaraz may need to brush up on his WTA knowledge in case he is asked a similar question in future, but his immediate focus will be on trying to win the Australian Open for the first time in his career. He will have high hopes of coming through his next test against Zverev, who he managed to beat in emphatic fashion in the quarter-finals of last year’s US Open.
Zverev will certainly be out for revenge when they do battle in Melbourne on Wednesday, but Alcaraz believes that it could be the same result if he comes out firing on all cylinders.
“I think playing at this level I will have my chances,” he said. “Obviously as I saw, he had played tough matches as well, five sets, tiebreak in the fifth set, so I think it’s going to be tough for him as well.
“I remember at the US Open he was struggling in the rounds before coming to my match and he wasn’t 100 per cent in the US Open, so let’s see. I hope to play a really tough match against him. I love to play against Sascha. I think both of us bring a high intensity of tennis, a high level of tennis.”