In a recent interview for the upcoming Cincinnati Open, young tennis sensation Carlos Alcaraz openly shared his admiration for Rafael Nadal, highlighting the profound influence Nadal’s career has had on his own journey in tennis. Alcaraz reminisced about his childhood, expressing how watching Nadal’s matches fueled his passion and love for the sport.
Acknowledging the impact Nadal has had on his career, Alcaraz spoke fondly of the Spanish legend, stating, “Rafael was my hero when I was young and started playing tennis.” He expressed his reverence for Nadal’s achievements, describing the experience of being mentioned in the same context as the legendary figure as a surreal honor.
Nadal, upon viewing the interview clip, responded warmly to Alcaraz, sending him a message of encouragement ahead of his upcoming tournament, saying, “Big hug and good luck in Turin!”
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Despite media attempts to create a competitive narrative between Nadal and Alcaraz, the young prodigy made it clear that he doesn’t perceive Nadal as a rival. Alcaraz emphasized their mutual respect, asserting, “Rafa is not my enemy. I don’t see that competition. With the rest of the players, it’s the same. Beyond that relationship, I’ll try to keep being No 1.”
Addressing a question about advice for Alcaraz during an event at the Movistar Arena, Nadal humbly admitted his inclination towards leading by example rather than offering explicit guidance. However, he expressed, “If I had to tell him something, I would only tell him to keep improving or at least have the hope of doing it, which is what keeps you motivated.”
Nadal’s supportive demeanor and Alcaraz’s admiration for the tennis icon depict a relationship founded on respect and inspiration. As Alcaraz continues to carve his path in tennis, Nadal’s mentorship and encouragement serve as a guiding light for the young talent, nurturing a legacy of mutual admiration and sportsmanship within the tennis community.
Rafael Nadal in 2023
At present, during this year Rafael achieved an overall 1-3 record.
Carlos Alcaraz in 2023
At present, during this year Carlos owns an overall 65-12 win-loss record. Carlos clinched 6 titles in 2023 in Buenos Aires, Indian Wells, Barcelona, Madrid, London and Wimbledon. Alcaraz was the runner-up in Rio de Janeiro and Cincinnati.
Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz played each other 3 times. Their actual record is 2-1 for Nadal. The last time they played each other, Carlos Alcaraz won 6-2 1-6 6-3 in the quarter in Madrid (Mutua Madrid Open) in May 2022.
Here are the highlights.
Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz
|Embed from Getty Images|