World No. 19 Pablo Carreno Busta has acknowledged that several young stars are finding their place on the tour but noted that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are still active and playing at a high level. Carlos Alcaraz, 18, is having a stunning start to the year as he is already a Masters champion and on the verge of breaking into the top-10.
Besides Alcaraz, the promising group of young players also includes Felix Auger-Aliassime, Jannik Sinner, Lorenzo Musetti and Sebastian Korda. "It's true that Federer hasn't played in a while, but Djokovic and Nadal are still there, they're showing it.
Time passes and we are seeing some renewal, I have also turned 30, it is normal for new people like Alcaraz, Korda, Musetti or Sinner to come looking for their prominence and they want to be up there, so it will not be easy," Carreno Busta said, per Sportskeeda.
"In my case, I now have the advantage of having experience, although physically they recover much better. Getting back to the top 10 will depend on the level you can offer."
Carreno Busta on Nadal skipping Barcelona
Nadal sustained a rib stress fracture at the Indian Wells Masters and has been out ever since.
Nadal, a record 12-time Barcelona champion, was forced to skip the Monte Carlo Masters and Barcelona. On Monday, Nadal returned to the practice court and he is aiming to make his comeback at the Madrid Masters, which starts on May 1.
"It's a very competitive tournament, there are still great players. It is true that they signed up between 12-13 top20 and then some have been lowered, but the Godo is always a very strong tournament. It is clear that the loss of Rafa Nadal is important, very bad news, although it relieves us a little because the picture opens a little more, although there are Alcaraz, Tsitsipas or Ruud," Carreno Busta said.
Carreno Busta is aiming to win his first Barcelona title this week. Carreno Busta had some strong Barcelona runs in the past, reaching the semifinals in 2018 and 2021.