Carlos Alcaraz, 18, has been among the youngsters to watch in recent years. Carlos did not have the ATP ranking three years ago, and is currently in the top 30 after taking giant steps. Alcaraz claimed the first ATP title in Umag last year, advanced to the first Major quarterfinals at the US Open and concluded the season with the ATP Next Gen Finals trophy.
The teenager started the new season at the Australian Open and lost to Matteo Berrettini in the third round after a cliffhanger. Carlos will compete in next week's ATP 500 event in Rio de Janeiro, hoping to make a brilliant showing and fight for the trophy.
When asked about Rafael Nadal, Carlos praised his legendary compatriot, calling his Australian Open title "incredible." Watching the memorable final from his house, Alcaraz cheered Rafa and felt as happy as if he had won the first Major title.
Nadal arrived in Australia with only two official matches in his legs after the semi-final at Roland Garros. Dealing with a foot injury, the Spaniard couldn't predict anything during his run in Melbourne, but he made it perfect and flew home with two trophies in his hands.
Nadal secured the first Australian Open title since 2009 and a record 21st Major, leaving Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic with 20. Rafa battled Karen Khachanov and Denis Shapovalov to meet in the semi-finals and defeated Matteo Berrettini for a place in the sixth final in Melbourne.
Nadal will play the Acapulco Open
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova recently stated that Rafael Nadal's triumph in the final of the 2022 Australian Open was a source of inspiration for her. "I watched [the 2022 Australian Open] final match," Pavlyuchenkova said.
"Unfortunately, I missed a set and a half at the beginning, but I managed to watch the most interesting part. To be honest, I was inspired by the fact that Rafael Nadal, at the age of 35, still continues to play some fantastic tennis."
Pavlyuchenkova was particularly impressed with the 35-year-old's forehand, falling short of words to describe the emotions it stirred in her. "[Because of] his fighting qualities and character, I consider him a role model," the Russian said.
"The following day I went to training all pumped up and full of energy. For me, it was an inspiration in every sense. And that amazing forehand of his..." Rafael Nadal has often been spotted showing his football skills with tennis balls.
His affinity for the sport isn’t just a one-off either. The Spaniard is a huge football fan and a vivid follower of Real Madrid Football Club.