Carlos Alcaraz, 18, says he is getting used to the comparison to Rafael Nadal, but also acknowledges that being compared to an all-time giant comes with some pressure.
Alcaraz is doing more or less what Nadal did at 18. In Miami, Alcaraz was proclaimed champion of the Masters after beating Casper Ruud in the final. Alcaraz reached this week the best ranking of his career, 9th in the world.
Like Nadal, Alcaraz became a Masters champion and entered the top 10 at 18. “Little by little I am taking it more and more normally and I am getting better and better.
If they compare me to Rafa it’s because I do things well. He is one of the best players in history. Being compared to him is a good thing in a way, but it also adds stones to the backpack.
What I try to do is throw all the stones they put at me,” Alcaraz told Spanish talk show El Hormiguero, quoted by We Love Tennis.
Alcaraz wins on the Rafael Nadal Track
Last week, Alcaraz won his first title in Barcelona. The central court of Barcelona was named in honor of Nadal.
“I played this tournament (Barcelona), the sub 14, and I remember [avoir regardé] the matches, the players around the locker room,” Alcaraz told Tennis TV. “The players, I mean Rafa Nadal, who I saw play here, [Roberto] Baptist [Agut], [Pablo] Carreno [Busta].
Yes, I always wanted to play on Rafa Nadal’s court, play against the best players in the world. And I remember saying: “One day I will play here” Alcaraz dreamed of playing for Barcelona one day and now he is Barcelona champion himself.
Last week, Alcaraz gave up a total of five matches in the Barcelona final to beat Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3, 6-2. After winning in Barcelona, Alcaraz hopes to do the same at the Madrid Masters.