Carlos Alcaraz, 18, admitted he dreamed of playing one day on Pista Rafael Nadal at the Barcelona Open. Alcaraz, who became a Masters champion in Miami, is set to make his second main draw appearance in Barcelona. One of the courts in Barcelona was named after record 21-time Grand Slam champion Nadal.
Alcaraz, who has been branded by some as the new Nadal, is hoping to make some memorable results on the court that was named after his idol. "I played this tournament (Barcelona), the under 14, and I remember [watching] the matches, the players around the locker room," Alcaraz told Tennis TV.
"Players, I mean, Rafa Nadal I saw playing here, [Roberto] Bautista [Agut], [Pablo] Carreno [Busta]. Yeah, I always wished to play in the Rafa Nadal court, to play against the best players of the world. And I remember [saying]: 'One day, one day I will play in there.'
Alcaraz on playing in Spain
Nadal will be turning 36 in June, and even though he doesn't have much time left, he is still a dominant force in the game. With the emergence of Alcaraz, Spanish tennis fans are at peace as they are confident the 18-year-old will go on to win multiple Grand Slams and become the world No.
1 one day. "Playing in Spain is always playing at home," Alcaraz continued. "Knowing that the people is supporting you is pretty amazing. It's important to have a good crowd, the people support you in tough moments in the matches.
It's really important and I hope to feel the warm of the crowd in the first match here." Spanish players usually prefer clay over hard and grass but that's not the case with Alcaraz. Alcaraz was asked directly to choose between clay and hard. "Tough question, but I would say hardcourt," Alcaraz replied.