Rising Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz revealed that Rafael Nadal and Andrey Rublev were the two players who impressed him the most during training. Alcaraz, 18, had the opportunity to train with Nadal on several occasions, as the champion of 21 Grand Slams, a record, took him under his tutelage.
Nadal, a former world No. 1, is helping Alcaraz by giving him advice, as he hopes the 18-year-old will unleash his full potential. Besides Nadal, Rublev was the player who also impressed Alcaraz during training. "The truth is that it is difficult for me to be surprised because I know almost all the players on the circuit, but if I have to highlight something, I remember that the first time I trained with Rafa I was very surprised.
In the end, the first time you train with a player, certain things about his game always surprise you, but I would say that Rafa and Rublev are the ones that have impressed me the most," Alcaraz said, according to We Love Tennis.
The Central Court of Barcelona is named after Nadal. Alcaraz, who just won his first Masters title in Miami, dreamed of one day becoming a professional and playing on the Rafael Nadal Court. "I played this tournament (Barcelona), the under 14s, and I remember [watching] the matches, the players around the locker room," Alcaraz told Tennis TV.
"Players, I mean, I saw Rafa Nadal play here, [Roberto] Bautista [Agut], [Pablo] Carreño [Busta]."
Nadal missed the Barcelona Open
Alex Corretja believes it would be "risky" for Rafael Nadal to make his comeback from injury at the 2022 Madrid Masters.
"I think the major decision for Rafa will be go to Madrid or not," Corretja said. "This is probably the most difficult part for Rafa because I believe from what we heard and what we saw that he is practicing.
In a regular situation, he might be ready to play Madrid, but is Madrid the perfect place for Rafa to come back? Knowing that it's the altitude and that through the clay-court season, that was the place that he usually felt a little bit more uncomfortable because he's got so much power and he doesn't control the ball as much as he likes," Corretja continued.
"He's got some opponents that hurt him in Madrid that usually don't do [so] in a sea-level place. So is he going to be ready for Madrid? Maybe he is ready, but I'm not so sure that it will be his pick to get back in Madrid."