Rafael Nadal: 'We have to be aware that we are role models for...'
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 5015
Carlos Alcaraz says that being compared to Rafael Nadal is nothing new for him and admits that receiving praise and advice from the champion of 21 Grand Slams, a record, makes him happy. Alcaraz has had an absolutely impressive start to the year and many are calling him the new Nadal.
The fact that Alcaraz is compared to Nadal speaks volumes about his talent, as many believe the 18-year-old has the potential to win multiple Grand Slams and become the world number 1. "It's been talked about for years on social media.
But I try not to get distracted: I think about myself, about tennis, about my progress. Rafa's compliments and advice make me happy. But I am from Murcia, he from Mallorca. He is left-handed, I am not. As a child, I was anything but a warrior: small, skinny, and underpowered.
The complete opposite of Nadal," Alcaraz said, according to We Love Tennis. In Indian Wells, Nadal edged out Alcaraz in three sets to reach the final. After surviving the Alcaraz challenge, Nadal was full of praise for the 18-year-old.
"I think he has all the shots," Nadal said after beating Alcaraz. "He can play very aggressive. He can play defense because he's super fast. He can defend incredible balls. Of course, when he plays aggressive, it's hard to stop him because the quality of his ball is so high.
I think he has all the ingredients to become an incredible champion.
Nadal had the best start to 2022
Anke Huber spoke about how players must be allowed to show emotion on the court and not everyone should be asked to conduct themselves the way Rafael Nadal and Federer have done.
Huber said: "Later we had this phase with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who always behaved sportsman-like and very fairly, but if everyone just looks straight ahead and doesn’t make a peep, it gets boring. I don’t think emotions are bad but they mustn’t be insulting and must remain within certain limits, if it gets too much you shouldn’t take the boys apart right away," Huber said.
Given his conduct throughout his illustrious career and being one of the senior players on tour, Rafael Nadal was spot on in his criticism of Alexander Zverev after the German's outburst at Acapulco. "If we are not able to penalize these types of attitudes in a little stronger way, then we as players will feel stronger and stronger all the time.
In this sport, we have to be a positive example, especially for the kids. This type of attitude must be stopped because there are many children looking at us. Sport must maintain positive values and we have to be aware that we are role models for millions of children," Nadal said.