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World number one Carlos Alcaraz has paid tribute to the soon-to-be-retired Roger Federer, describing him as the epitome of ‘pre talent, class and elegance.’

Federer will hang up his racket after the Laver Cup this weekend after he called time on his three-year battle with a serious knee injury.

The 41-year-old has had three operations in an attempt to correct the problem, as well as embarking on a failed comeback attempt last summer.

However, as one richly talented player departs the ATP, Carlos Alcaraz is stepping up and appears to be on the cusp of something special himself.

He has already won his maiden major and become the youngest world number one in history, the 19-year-old is the first to acknowledge the impact Federer had on his development.

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“He’s pure talent, class and elegance. He’s lasted so long because of how he plays,” Alcaraz said of Federer at a press conference in Madrid.

“He hasn’t retired in any match and I’ve already retired in one. It’s a gift they’ve brought us all sports fans, not just tennis. I’m proud to have watched him throughout my childhood.

“I wish I could last as long as he has and earn a quarter of what he has earned. I can only thank him for what he has given to tennis. I’ve always wanted to face him, it won’t be possible, but it’s better than leaving with a defeat.”

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