'He must be free from the shadow of Rafael Nadal', says former No.1



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'He must be free from the shadow of Rafael Nadal', says former No.1

Carlos Alcaraz has definitively shaken off the label of 'promise' and has shown that he is already the present. The very young Spaniard won his first Masters 1000 in Miami, regulating Casper Ruud in two sets despite an uncertain start.

The Murciano became the first Iberian tennis player in history to prevail in the Florida tournament. Carlos is also the third youngest ever to win a '1000' title, behind only Michael Chang and compatriot Rafael Nadal. The latter was one of the first to congratulate Alcaraz, who made himself the author of a week on the verge of perfection.

Juan Carlos Ferrero's pupil only took a big risk in the quarterfinals against Miomir Kecmanovic, recovering a 3-5 disadvantage in the decisive tiebreak thanks to a couple of exceptional points. Alcaraz, who will return to action in Monte Carlo, is only 29 points away to officially enter the Top 10.

To the microphones of the Tennis Channel, former ATP number 1 Andy Roddick analyzed Carlos' triumph in Miami. The American invited fans and insiders to avoid cumbersome comparisons with the Big 3.

Andy Roddick on Carlos Alcaraz

"I can't mention anything about [Carlos] Alcaraz on Twitter without someone automatically saying, 'Well, Rafael Nadal did this' and 'You know, Rafa did that.'

We have to let this guy be his own person. And he seems comfortable in his own skin. He seems comfortable with the way he plays. I just don't think it’s going to faze him," said Roddick. Asked if he had seen anyone like Carlos Alcaraz, Roddick recognized that the comparisons the young Spaniard generated were warranted.

"Yes, name is Rafa (Nadal). His name was Roger (Federer). His name was Andre (Agassi) at a certain time. The company he is keeping with these comparisons elicit that sort of name to make an apples-to-apples comparison," said Roddick.

Roddick believes the young Spaniard, currently ranked No. 16, has what it takes to do so. "Normally, I question, 'Listen, an 18-year-old in this big of a final for the first time, how is he going to come out?' I don't really doubt the way he is going to come out.

I think his team is going to like the way he comes out. I just don't see him kind of fading for the moment here," said Roddick. While Nadal had to withdraw from the Miami Masters due to an injury, he would be proud of Alcaraz’s performance at the tournament.

With the clay-court swing just around the corner, it will be fascinating to witness their match-up on their favorite surface in the upcoming tournaments on red dirt.