While France digests a more than crude reality as best it can, since for the first time in history it does not have a single representative of its tennis in the third round (neither male nor female) and its crisis worsens, Spain and Italy cannot avoid the optimistic grin.
Three boys parade through there at a good pace and with brilliance, guaranteeing a prosperous future and predicting happiness. Step firmly on Yannik Sinner, the Tyrolean giant who neither suffers nor suffers while rallying; Lorenzo Musetti hooks with his creativity and that vindictive profile that fights against the robotics trend of today; and Carlos Alcaraz rears his head, Charlie Brown, the Murcian that illuminates the landscape of tomorrow in a national key, until not long ago too gloomy and without a flashlight.
They are, if things are not twisted, the trident called to mark the passage of the last generation. The spearhead of a batch that is coming, and even overtaking, a good handful of promises from the previous one. Paris power the shout: for the first time since 2001, three players under 20 years of age appear in the third season of Roland Garros, among the 32 best players of the French great. Exactly two decades ago it was achieved by Roger Federer (19), Andy Roddick (18) and the Spanish Tommy Robredo (19).
Sinner (19) balls like a veteran, Musetti (19) plays with a brush on the right and Alcaraz (18), the youngest of the 128 tennis players who made it into the main draw of the tournament, is taking the Parisians into the pocket with his offensive repertoire and determination. “My performance is not surprising to me. I trust a lot in myself, it is a virtue that I have always had and I think it has helped me ”, says the Palmar man, who this Saturday (second shift of the session that starts at 11.00; Eurosport) will have the opportunity to take another bite to history and continue raising the youthful rebellion of this edition.
He is measured against the German Jan-Lennard Struff, twelve years his senior. “Honestly, I thought you were going to ask me about him, who is the one I will get in the next round. I can’t talk to you about Schwartzman or Rafa ”, he answers to a hasty journalist who has skipped two steps and matches him with Nadal, knowing that in the Grand Slams each game is different. “Young people are there, showing a good level. As I have said many times, I am still focused on myself and what I need to improve, and each one must follow his path ”, he refers to his rise and that of the two Italians.
Two months after Alcaraz was born, Federer won his first major at Wimbledon. Now, the law of life, the Swiss hurries a splendid career while the thrust of youth inexorably makes its way. Those who led the call NextGen They have already put their elbows – Daniil Medvedev (25), Alexander Zverev (24), Stefanos Tsitsipas (22), Denis Shapovalov (22) … – and in recent times the new fifth has begun to knock loudly at the door, in the one that stands out the names of the Spanish, Sinner and Musetti.
The latter, winner of the Australian Open as a junior in 2019 and semi-finalist in Acapulco (ATP 500) this season, is already potentially 65th in the world. “I did not expect to go so fast,” he admits before the clash with Marco Cecchinato. Meanwhile, Sinner, quoted with Mikael Ymer, draws an even steeper leap: he has settled in the top-20, has been a finalist in Miami this year and in the past reached the fourth in Paris. “There is a chance that Roland Garros will win,” the historic Mats Wilander gets wet. And Alcaraz (97º) continues to grow like foam, on the lips of all fans and under the scrutiny of specialists: “The young Spanish prodigy”, the newspaper defines him L’Èquipe.