He has the potential to be one of the all-time greats: Bollywood star Aamir Khan on Carlos Alcaraz

Aamir Khan exclusively speaking to Star Sports shares his thoughts on Carlos Alcaraz achieving the same feat as Federer and Nadal, said, ”It looks like that he’s playing really well, when I watch him play, he almost reaches the impossible shot. So, how do you close the point with him? I often wonder, how you close the point with him because the point should have got over the last couple of shots but he’s reached them and he’s hit it back and, he’s still in the point. And then he wins the point. So, he’s someone, I think, who’s showing a lot of potential. Of course, he’s just started out but I think he has the potential to be one of the all-time greats if he continues in this way. I think I would bet on Alcaraz. Djokovic is also there, in the game. But I think it’s really difficult to close the point with Alcaraz. You know, he just doesn’t let you close the point. Really makes you work hard to get the point.“

Aamir Khan exclusively speaking to Star Sports on his experience on coming to watch Wimbledon live, said, ”Well, to be honest, I’ve been here only once to actually watch it live which was last year. I came with my kids and it was a wonderful experience, really wonderful experience and as I was saying earlier, up until now, I’ve watched it on television through Star Sports. And but when you watch it live, you realize just how fast the game is and how amazing the players are and the whole atmosphere, the excitement of watching it live is something else.”

Aamir Khan exclusively speaking to Star Sports on growth and awareness of tennis as a sport in India, said, “You know, when I used to play tennis, there used to be a lot of tournaments happening. And I feel that today there are fewer tournaments are happening, on a local level, on a city level, on a state level or even at the nationals. I remember when we used to play circuit, there were so many, games going on. So, I’d like to see more of that happen. And I think that will throw up a lot of players and another thing is that we have to realize that kids here start at a very early age. And they focus only on that one thing, tennis. And unfortunately in India, a lot of parents don’t want to do that. They don’t want to encourage a child who is showing potential in a sport because we are little insecure about the future of the child. So, that kind of holds us back. There is a lot of talent in India and I think if we had more facilities, if we had more opportunities and if we had more support, then we’d have a lot more tennis champions that India throws up.”  

Aamir Khan exclusively speaking to Star Sports on his take on generation change in Wimbledon when Roger Federer used to play and now days players, said, “Well, Federer was playing, until just a little while ago. So, in that sense, I don’t know how much it has changed in the last couple of years, but of course, it’s changed significantly over the last few decades and the game’s become much faster and I’d like to tell the television audience that when you watch it live, that’s when you realize how fast it really is, how fast the ball moves, how fast the players move and you know, how fantastic it appears. It’s almost inhuman what they are achieving today, you know, they are hitting impossible shots.”

Aamir Khan exclusively speaking to Star Sports on his all-time men’s tennis player, said, ”I have to say that I’ve always been a huge fan of Vijay. And I had always been rooting for him. I remember the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. I watched the whole match, you know, really rooting for you. And when I was playing tennis, it was Borg for me. And he was the only player I had a, you know, a poster in my bedroom that was beyond Borg. And then there was Pete Sampras. And from now, it’s been Federer. Federer is someone I really love because, I mean, he’s a great player. And what I love about him is that it’s like there’s some ballet happening. He’s so stylish. He’s so amazing. And he hits some of the most incredible shots. So I would say at this point, let’s say Federer. Though I know he’s retired, but he’s still my favorite.”

Aamir Khan exclusively speaking to Star Sports on his favourite Indian tennis player, said, ”I don’t know, it’s hard to pick because I’ve also seen Ramanathan Krishnan playing live. When I was playing tennis, I was at PJ Hindu Gymkhana, and I watched him play the men’s finals, Nandan Bal in him. And it was a three-setter. Nandan Bal won in three sets. But he had an amazing touch game, you know. And as Vijay pointed out to me, his anticipation was amazing, him and Ramesh both. So, well, I think it’s Vijay, Ramesh, and Ramanathan. These are my top three.”

Aamir Khan exclusively speaking to Star Sports on his favourite Wimbledon moment, said, ”Let me tell you the most heartbreaking match I watched. It was when Borg lost to McEnroe at the Wimbledon after winning, in 81, after winning six times, I think, if I’m not mistaken. And I was such a huge Borg fan that when the game got over, I couldn’t believe it’s over. You know, I thought, maybe it’s a nightmare. Maybe I’m going to wake up and the game is now going to start. I couldn’t eat dinner that night. You know, I really was shell-shocked because I thought he could never lose. And then he lost. And I was like, there’s something wrong. This TV is showing something wrong. I was just refusing to believe that it happened. You know, it was unbelievable for me. So that’s a match that I remember very clearly. But it was a heartbreaking match.”

Aamir Khan exclusively speaking to Star Sports on making a film on tennis, said, ”Well, I hope so. If some nice story comes along, then I’d love to do a film on tennis as well. But for me, for a film, it’s really the story and the characters that make a film for me. And you know, I have to confess that my first instinct was not to promote cricket when I was doing Lagaan or to promote wrestling when I was doing Dangal. I was really reacting to those stories as a human being, as a creative person. And the fact that they had, that sports was such an important part of it, just made it better. But if a story on tennis comes along with tennis as a backdrop, I’d love to, I’d love to make that film. I’m such a supporter of sports. I really believe that a ball can change the world. I believe that all of us, you know, irrespective of your age, if all of us just spend two hours or even three hours a week playing some sport of our choice, it will change our lives. It changes the way we are physically. It changes the way we are mentally, emotionally. It really alters, and especially for children, because I think sports gets you ready for life. It teaches you how to work hard. It teaches you to be passionate about something. It teaches you team spirit if you’re playing a team sport. It teaches you how to take defeat. Yes. It teaches you to plan. It teaches you how to take success as well. You know, it really gets you ready for life, I feel.”

(With inputs from press release)

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