‘I’m a 17-year-old tennis wonderkid helping Alcaraz get ready for Djokovic’

Joao Fonseca is the 17-year-old tennis wonderkid helping Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner get ready for Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals in Turin. The Brazilian youngster impressed during practice sessions against the pair earlier this week as he further cemented his reputation as one of the most exciting young prospects in the sport. 

Fonseca is the No 1 ranked ITF Junior singles player and is hoping to rise up the senior standings in 2024. In September, he won his first junior Grand Slam, the US Open, after making his ATP main draw debut at the 2023 Rio Open as a wildcard pick seven months prior.

Fonseca went all the way to the final of the 2023 Australian Open boys’ doubles tournament with Alexander Blockx and reached the quarter-finals as a singles competitor in the junior bracket of the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this year.

Speaking to the ITF in 2022, then 15 years old, Fonseca gave an insight into his early career. “I started playing tennis when I was four years old,” he said. “I come from a sport family where everybody plays sport. I started with my mum who loves tennis and I fell in love with the sport too.

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“When I was nine or 10, I started playing tournaments in Brazil, while by 12 I was among the top five players in Brazil and often getting to semi-finals.

“Until the age of 12 it was always tennis and soccer, but from then I chose tennis. Towards the end of last year, I won my first events on the ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors – three J5s in Brazil, Panama and Paraguay.

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“After those victories, I started getting more excited and things are going really well, but there is a long way to go and I just have to trust my coaches and my family, who support me a lot. I am just enjoying myself and I am so happy.”

Fonseca is noted for his aggression on the court. The youngster has a vicious forehand and likes to end a point in three shots or less. That was evident during this year’s US Open boys’ final against Learner Tien. After dropping the opening set 4–6, Fonseca turned up the dial and began firing powerful forehand shots to the edges of the court to take sets two and three 6–4 and 6–3 in quick succession.

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