Luca Nardi faced Cameron Norrie in his debut at a Masters 1000 tournament. The young Italian played an excellent match and showed his talent, but on the other side of the net he met one of the best players on the circuit. The world number 11 used his experience in the important moments of the game and closed the accounts with a double 6-4.
"I'm happy to have finished in straight sets. Luca played well. He was a bit nervous before the match because he didn't know him very well. I have seen some of his matches in Challenger tournaments. I think he has played very well from the bottom.
I made a lot of mistakes early in the match, but then I found my rhythm and served well when I needed to. I relaxed in the second set; that allowed me to play very good tennis. I managed the points better in important moments.
The public encouraged him, he was very involved. I enjoyed it, although it is never easy to be on the other side. It was a good experience, which showed how much Italians love this sport," the Briton said at the press conference.
Norrie then spoke of the talent of Carlos Alcaraz. The British tennis player has already faced the Spaniard three times in his career, two of them this year, and he has always lost. "He is playing with a lot of confidence.
He really believes in himself. He also has the right maturity to manage his talent in the moments of greatest pressure. Everyone talks about him, they tell him that he will be the next Rafael Nadal. It's amazing to see how such a young boy handles pressure."
Rafa Nadal on Carlos Alcaraz
Rafael Nadal has had enough of the constant comparisons between himself and Carlos Alcaraz. "I don't know [if Carlos Alcaraz is stronger than a 19-year-old Nadal]. We cannot be all the time thinking about how I was and how he is today.
He is what he is. He is fantastic," Nadal said. "The only thing that we can do is enjoy the career of an amazing player. It will be better, even if it's interesting, you stop comparing him with me." The only thing that can be done, according to Nadal, is to enjoy watching the teenager shape his career trajectory in the years to come.
"Different moments. Different careers. Different way to approach things because the times are changing. But let's enjoy him. That's it. Don't put pressure, extra pressure, on him. Don't ask me every time. Every time that you going to ask me, I going to say the same thing," Nadal said.
"Honestly, in an egoistic way, like a spectator, having somebody like Carlos that we going to have a chance to enjoy his career for the next I don't know how many years, it's great."