Carlos Alcaraz attracted everyone's attention. The 18-year-old Spaniard won his first Masters 1000 title in Miami, winning the final against Norwegian Casper Ruud in two sets. With such a prestigious victory, there was no shortage of comparisons between Alcaraz and his compatriot, Rafael Nadal, who had never won in Miami.
If Jaume Munar talked about how the two can be similar, as both have decided to grow physically and from the game, Pam Shriver, former number two in the world of doubles, focused on how Nadal was a point. reference for Alcaraz.
On the Tennis Channel's Inside-In podcast, Pam Shriver explained how the world's number eleven benefited from having Nadal and current coach Juan Carlos Ferrero as role models. "I feel like he's got a couple of amazing, really cool models to look at," Shriver said, as reported by Sportskeeda.
"Rafa Nadal, obviously Spaniard too, with the champion mentality and work ethic that he showed. And then Juan Carlos Ferrero, who won a French Open. So, I think he was really like a sponge. Plus, he has a world of natural talent.
But again, it takes the mental side to bring it all together." Carlos Alcaraz, however, goes beyond the comparison with Nadal or with Ferrero. The former American tennis player has identified in the young Spaniard a point of reference in men's tennis which, according to his vision, will change a lot in the coming years.
Chris Evert pays tribute to Nadal
Chris Evert believes Rafael Nadal's injury problems are a blessing in disguise as they allow the Mallorcan time to rest his body. "I think with his record this year, he has lost one match so far," Evert told Eurosport.
"He had that streak of so many tournaments and so many wins, and he has had a wonderful start to 2022. I think this injury is a hiccup." The 18-time Slam champion then shifted her focus to the French Open. She highlighted how the Spaniard will need to be at his best from a physical standpoint to compete in the best-of-five format at Roland Garros.
"He has put his body through the mill the last 20 years and I think the more important thing right now is making sure that he is healthy, especially when you are playing three out of five sets," Evert said. ATP Madrid Masters preliminary entry list is out and adding excitement to tennis fans across the world, all top players are present in the initial list to participate in the event.
Notable entries include world no. 1 Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, and Rafael Nadal, who is currently trying to recuperate from his rib injury.