'Rafael Nadal loves to have a lot of match wins under...', says expert

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'Rafael Nadal loves to have a lot of match wins under...', says expert

Tennis analyst Paul Annacone is absolutely blown away by Carlos Alcaraz as he has claimed that the game has not seen such a meteoric rise since Rafael Nadal. Like Nadal, Alcaraz became a Masters champion and broke into the top 10 at the age of 18.

Alcaraz, who turned 19 last week, is now determined to lift his first Grand Slam title at the French Open. "It's unbelievable," Annacone said on a podcast hosted by the Tennis Channel, according to Sportskeeda.

"We haven't seen a meteoric rise like Rafa's in a long time, and we weren't sure we'd see him again. But this guy is something special and he's done an amazing job. Winning Rafa and Novak consecutively is something that doesn't happen.

He is comfortable." Alcaraz comes from winning the Miami and Madrid Masters. The Murcian has stated several times in recent weeks that he feels mentally and physically ready to win a Grand Slam. "Can he do it in 3 of 5 sets in seven matches?" Annacone asked.

"In terms of talent and ability, absolutely. But for a teenager who hasn't been through that environment before, it could be quite a challenge. For two weeks at a Major, I think it's a different landscape for him.

But I don't see any reason why with that level of skill he can't do it." On the way to winning Madrid, Alcaraz defeated Nadal. Alcaraz might have to do something similar at the French Open to win his first Grand Slam.

"I think the hardest thing in sport is to beat Rafa Nadal in 3 out of 5 sets on clay," Annacone said.

Rafa Nadal is in trouble

Many players who have faced Rafael Nadal over the years have stressed that beating him at the French Open is one of the hardest things in tennis.

"The hardest thing in sports is beating Rafa Nadal in 3 out of 5 sets on clay," said Annacone. "I still think that's the most difficult thing to do. Rafa is such a creature of habit and he loves to have a lot of match wins under his belt," Annacone expressed.

"He started the year off meteorically and of course with the setback of the cracked rib, he hasn't been able to play the schedule that he wants. Rafa is so great, he can play his way into form at Roland Garros," he added.

"He can win a lot of matches at way below sub-par for him and then he'll get better as the tournament goes on. I'm really not worried. I know it's not what he prefers but, look, the guy hasn't won 13 Roland Garros for no reason."