'Rafael Nadal loves tennis and competition so much that...', says expert

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'Rafael Nadal loves tennis and competition so much that...', says expert

Carlos Alcaraz's dream week towards the title in front of his home crowd at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell has cemented the 18-year-old's place in the Top 3 in the ATP Race To Turin. Reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Intesa Sanpaolo defeated his mentor Pablo Carreno Busta on Sunday to add three title wins in 2022.

He moves within 70 points of third-placed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Race as he looks to reach the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. time. Eight singles players and eight doubles teams will qualify for the season-ending event, to be held in Turin from November 13-20, and Alcaraz is now 560 points clear of fourth-place Daniil Medvedev and 1,260 points ahead.

of the player currently ranked eighth, Casper Ruud. Tsitsipas' victory at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters two weeks ago had firmly established the Greek in second place behind leader Rafael Nadal, but Alcaraz roared back with a strong performance in front of his hometown fans in Barcelona.

His title run included an enthralling three-set quarter-final win over top seed Tsitispas, and the 18-year-old now boasts a 23-3 record on the season. 2020 Nitto ATP Finals champion Tsitsipas (2,530 points) and Alcaraz (2,460 points) remain behind leader Nadal (3,350 points), with the Spaniard returning from a rib injury sustained in Indian Wells at the Mutua Madrid Open in may.

Wilander opens up on Rafa Nadal

The clay-court season started without Rafael Nadal, whose return date remains unknown for the moment. Injured to a rib in Indian Wells, the Mallorcan has still not resumed training. For Mats Wilander, the man with 21 Grand Slam titles can harbor regrets even if he simply acted as he did throughout his career.

“I expected Rafael Nadal to skip Indian Wells and Miami after his win in Acapulco. He probably pushed his body a little too much. Without Indian Wells, he would have had a month off and enough time to prepare for his favorite surface.

It's always the same with Rafa. He loves tennis and competition so much that he goes on the court and gives everything he can when he feels good. It's a vicious circle: you push your limits, you get injured, you get back in shape and you start giving the best of yourself again.

This is Rafa's career, and he has had a very good one. He is the best player of all time on paper and he has achieved a lot despite injury breaks,” the Swedish Eurosport consultant aptly pointed out.