The 2022 season looks to be the definitive one in the race that the members of the ‘Big-3’ have to continue stretching their record in the Grand Slams. With Roger Federer out of the discussion, this one focuses on Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The Spanish tennis player, 35 years old and current number six in the world, seems to be clear that he starts at a certain disadvantage compared to the Serbian, who comes from winning three "greats" and staying at the door of another in 2021.
“Djokovic is the best positioned to finish as the player with the most Grand Slams. You must not lie to yourself, Federer is where he is and I am where I am. Novak continues to compete and is in a great moment. What may happen in 9 months will be seen, but today, he is the favorite," said the Mallorcan.
Both have 20 Grand Slams in their record, and in Rafa's case he is scheduled to return to activity after the injury he has suffered on the sole of his foot. The other option to avoid the definitive escape of "Nole" in the classification passes through the impact that the "NextGen" can have.
Daniil Medvedve has already won his first great title and other contemporaries are expected to do the same. “They are no longer the NextGen. We must not make it eternal. Medvedev, (Alexander) Zverev, (Stefanos) Tsitsipas, these tennis players have already passed that stage.
They are already the generation of the present”, assured the Spaniard.
Alcaraz on his passion for Rafael Nadal
18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz has been one of the most improved players of the 2021 season and the Spaniard has sparked comparisons to his idol and compatriot Rafael Nadal.
"I met Rafael Nadal for the first time at an award ceremony on the Rafa Nadal Tour (junior tennis circuit)," Alcaraz said. "At that time I hardly dared to exchange a word with him. However, during our first real conversation I noticed what a great guy he is."
The Spaniard faced off against Rafael Nadal at this year's Madrid Open, where he lost in straight sets. Comparisons have been made between him and the 35-year-old, particularly in Spain. "My coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, who is fundamentally important to me, doesn't like it when I'm compared to Rafa.
He wants me to focus on myself, on Carlos Alcaraz, and not try to be someone else," Alcaraz said. "This advice has helped me a lot."