Carlos Alcaraz enjoyed a dream week at the Masters 1000 in Madrid. The talented young Spaniard became the first tennis player to beat Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal on clay and the youngest ever winner in Madrid. Alcaraz has already amassed two Masters 1000 and ATP 500 titles in his career, rising to sixth in the ATP rankings and sending a clear message to the big circuit.
The 19-year-old from Murcia will not play the Internazionali BNL d'Italia to recover 100% from a physical point of view: his goal is to appear at Roland Garros in the best possible condition. Toni Nadal, Rafael's uncle and former coach, expressed his opinion about Alcaraz in an editorial published in the newspaper 'El País'
"Him Physically he is a wonder, his determination is enviable and technically he has no gaps. If a few months ago we talked about the power and speed of his forehand, today we must mention his dizzying improvement in the backhand, serve and volley.
For years I have worried about the void my nephew is likely to leave in our sport when he retires. Now I am convinced that this void will be completely filled", wrote Toni Nadal. The Spaniard has shown an unusual maturity and his pulse does not tremble in the important moments of the matches.
"Today I don't see any player from the so-called Next Gen who can overshadow him. One lacks mentality, another has problems with his push, some with his backhand, others with clay tournaments and almost all with continuity and consistency."
Rafa Nadal won 20 consecutive matches in 2022
Rafael Nadal has one tournament left to find his best form ahead of Roland Garros. The Spaniard, who lost to Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals at Madrid, is practicing in Rome ahead of his Italian Open title defense.
"Not much, I think. I think tennis is much more important than Novak and myself. And there is plenty of players out there that can fight for the big titles, no?" Nadal said. "I mean, probably it’s not like five or 10 years ago that probably even if always has been chances for all the players, it is true that arrive a moment that, years ago, look like the tournament always has been between four players, then between three, the chances of victory.
I think today the situation is different. If somebody is not playing, of course, I think for the fans and the sport is better if I am playing, if Roger is playing or if Novak is playing - saying from humble position - but at the same time we are part of the history of our sport. It is good that the best players in any sport are on court," Nadal said.