The absolute star of the Next Gen ATP Finals 2021 did not disappoint expectations and conquered the semifinals of the Italian event by obtaining three convincing victories in Group A. Carlos Alcaraz is also stealing the show in Milan, where he has lost only one set (by now he was sure of first place and qualification, ed.), gave great games to tennis fans and set a new record.
The Spaniard has in fact become the youngest player to win thirty games in a single season since Rafael Nadal’s feat in 2004. Alcaraz's name is often compared to that of the 20-time Grand Slam champion; a comparison that makes the 18-year-old from Murcia proud, but he prefers to keep his feet firmly glued to the ground.
“I started playing when I was four and I watched the best from an early age. Rafa, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer,” said Alcaraz after the match he won against Brandon Nakashima on Sky Sport. “When I started playing I always watched their games.
I've always had an idol who is Rafa. During all these years I have followed him a lot. Then as I grow up, in terms of playing style, I look a little more like Federer." Finally, Alcaraz expressed all his happiness for having reached the semifinals of the Next Gen Finals.
“I am very happy to play the semifinal here in Milan. And I am very happy with the level I am expressing. I'm really satisfied and, above all, I'm having a lot of fun on the pitch”. Alcaraz's season will not end with the Next Gen Finals, because Sergi Bruguera has decided to call him for the Davis Cup Finals.
Arias talks about Rafa Nadal
Former tennis player and analyst Jimmy Arias also spoke about Rafael Nadal's chances at the French Open. According to Arias, the Spaniard is slowly beginning to show signs of weakness on the red clay in Paris.
"I never conceded the French title to Nadal, like some others did," he said. "I’ve often felt like Rafa is on the verge of being beatable, but then he’d get to Roland Garros and win. He proved me wrong every time a lot of times.
But now he’s showing some wear in that armor." In a recent interview, analyst Patrick McEnroe suggested Nadal would be the top favorite to add to his 13 titles at the French Open if he can stay fit. "If he stays healthy, he (Nadal) could end up winning one to three more French Opens," McEnroe was quoted as saying by Tennis.com.
"That's a reasonable argument to make. It’s harder to make an argument that he can win multiple other majors at this point."