Boris Becker believes Carlos Alcaraz is on course to become world No. 1 provided the Spanish teen sensation can continue his stunning rise.
Alcaraz was disappointingly knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday at the last-32 stage, which was a jolt back down to earth from his win at the previous Masters event of 2022 in Miami.
Six-time Grand Slam champion Becker warned recently about Alcaraz being sucked into believing his own hype following his success so far this year, but the German also sees no reason why the 18-year-old can't navigate his way to the top of the game.
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Speaking to Eurosport's 'Das Gelbe Vom Ball' podcast, Becker said: "If everything continues normally, then yes he can be world No. 1.
"He's only 18, but you only have to look at the way he's played over the last six months.
"He went to Miami and just kept winning. He has the mentality to not just be satisfied with reaching a semi-final, or be playing the best players in the world - he wants to go further and [we saw that] by winning his first Masters title against a top opponent.
"So he can become No. 1, but anything can happen in sport."
As Becker highlights, Alcaraz's year so far has been quite remarkable. The Murcia native won the title in Rio in February and got to the semi-final of Indian Wells, before his momentous victory in Miami where he became the third-youngest Masters 1000 champion of all time.
Despite his exit in Monte Carlo to Sebastian Korda, clay - the surface on which Alcaraz grew up - is believed to be his best surface, and he is expected to be a threat at the next Masters events of the year in Rome and Madrid, before the ATP Tour heads to the culmination of the dirt swing - Roland Garros in late May.
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