'Just like teenage Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz is going to go and stay trending up'

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'Just like teenage Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz is going to go and stay trending up'

Australian tennis legend Todd Woodbridge thinks Carlos Alcaraz will continue trending up, just like Rafael Nadal did when he first burst onto the scene as a teenager in 2005. Alcaraz, 18, became a Masters champion after beating Casper Ruud in the Miami final.

Alcaraz, who is now enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 11, told Marca after Miami he now feels physically and mentally ready to win a Grand Slam. "It's his ability to keep winning. He’s 18-2 for the season. It is winning a Masters title.

But it's not just one result – it's been that trajectory that we haven't really seen,” Woodbridge told ausopen.com. “(With other rising stars) we've seen an upward curve and then a plateau and then a little dip, before we've seen an upward curve again.

“Alcaraz is going to go and stay trending up. Rafa’s probably the last one to have done that, and then from my perspective it was Boris Becker who similarly burst onto the scene. Boris won a Slam very quickly after winning at Queen's Club.

Rafa did the same in 2005, winning his first Masters titles (Monte Carlo and Rome) then turning up to Roland Garros and winning that. “This is rarefied air Alcaraz has stepped into. So I think it's a really exciting time”.

'Alcaraz taking the approach of Nadal and Roger Federer'

Alcaraz has been labeled as the new Nadal and there is a reason why he is often compared to the record 21-time Grand Slam champion. Alcaraz is fully committed and dedicated to the game, just like great champions Nadal and Federer were.

“The way he's competed on court has been robust, but behaviour has been exemplary. He's gritty, he's determined. Those attributes are all very important to creating that complete player,” Woodbridge said. “He looks like he's watched Rafa and Roger and thought, 'that is the way I have to approach being the best player I can be'

"You look at the team around him, and (coach) Juan Carlos Ferrero is sound. It's no frills, it's hard work. The ethos that Juan Carlos had to get to world No.1 is what this kid likes, and sees, and is what's working. “He just seems to be making good decisions at a young age. That's pretty exciting for the sport”.

Rafael Nadal Carlos Alcaraz Todd Woodbridge