They were left without their two main stars, but Spain tried and fought until the end. The Iberian team did not succeed and was eliminated in the Davis Cup quarterfinals by Croatia. Bruguera had to deal with the casualties of Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal, world numbers 1 and 2 respectively.
The Croatian team is now one of the favorites to win the tournament and in the semifinals they will face Australia in a very interesting match. Croatia's number one, Marin Cilic, made some interesting remarks at the press conference and spoke of the success against Spain: "In the last set I felt I was a bit ahead in terms of my game, but you know, against Pablo the things are always very balanced and that could be seen at the end of the second set and at the beginning of the third.
Sometimes I have had problems with the serve, I have not kept my composure and it has not been easy. At 4-2 I got back into the game and finally held on until the tie-break. This match has reminded me that I have been through many battles in my career." The tennis player then spoke about the upcoming match against Australia: "They are a great team, they played a great game against the Netherlands and overcame a difficult round in Glasgow.
It was a fantastic victory for them, the players are very young and they have an energetic team. We had a tough battle with them last year, I'm sure it will be the same now." The tennis player then continued: "With Alcaraz and Nadal it would have been very different.
We know Rafa, he is a leader on and off the court, he is one of the best tennis players in Davis Cup history. And then there is Carlos who had a great season and his injury is a shame not only for Davis but because he missed the ATP finals.
With him, Spain can look positively to the future".
Alcaraz is now a marked man
Carlos Alcaraz knows he will face a different challenge during the 2023 campaign as he will be a marked man following his success this year while he has also opened up about comparisons with Rafael Nadal.
“The season is going to be difficult because I am going to start as the favourite and there is going to be a lot of pressure on me,” the 19-year-old said. “But I try to keep the good part and see that all this does not go to my head.
In the end, beating your idols is an incredible achievement. I try to take it normally and never forget that whatever happens in the future, I have to enjoy tennis and play at my level”. The teenager’s meteoric rise has lead to comparisons with his fellow Spaniard, but Alcaraz is not keen on being likened to one of the best tennis players of all time.
Nadal, of course, has won a record 22 Grand Slams, spent 209 weeks atop the ATP Rankings and broke numerous other records so Alcaraz knows he still has a long way to go before he can be mentioned in the same breath as one of the best in the business.