Rafael Nadal: 'Given the duration of the injury layoff...'

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Rafael Nadal: 'Given the duration of the injury layoff...'

Carlos Alcaraz, 18, admitted that he could not believe once he was nominated for the Davis Cup Finals. Alcaraz has had an outstanding 2021 season and is set to end it with a Davis Cup debut. Alcaraz is one of the five players nominated for the Davis Cup Finals, as the captain of the Spanish team, Sergi Bruguera, also selected Roberto Bautista Agut, Pablo Carreño Busta, Feliciano López and Marcel Granollers.

"It means a lot to represent Spain in the Davis Cup for the first time, when the captain told me that he did not believe it. It was a dream I had since I was a child and being able to fulfill it when I was 18 years old is super nice and super special.

All my teammates are great professionals, like Sergi Bruguera. I look forward to learning from them in all areas," Alcaraz said. Alcaraz captured his first ATP title last summer at Umag and also won it all at the Next Gen ATP Finals.

"It has been a very, very good year for me, I have grown a lot this year, but it has been that, just one year. I did not expect at all to grow so fast, mature so fast and of course make the Davis Cup team so fast. I was surprised," admitted Alcaraz, Spain will face Russia and Ecuador in the group stage and will not have an easy job to win their group, as it will be without Rafael Nadal, while Russia will have Daniil Medvedev.

Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, and Aslan Karatsev.

Nadal hopes to be competitive

Rafael Nadal said he hopes to be "competitive" when he does make his return. However, the Mallorcan admitted that the road to recovery was a "complicated process" given the duration of the injury layoff.

"My goal right now is to prepare myself in the best possible way in every way for when I am ready to arrive and be able to be competitive," Rafael Nadal said. "I know it's going to be a complicated process because it's many months but I'm with the utmost enthusiasm and that's what should lead me to have options next year," Nadal added.

Nadal believes 2021 has been a "good year" for women's tennis in Spain. He believes Muguruza's WTA Finals triumph has a "special meaning," since no other Spaniard has managed to pull off the feat.

"It has been a good year for (Spanish) women's tennis and with a good culmination winning the last tournament, which had not been achieved and has a special meaning," Rafael Nadal said.