Coach Juan Carlos Ferrero says Carlos Alcaraz pushing Rafael Nadal to the distance at 2022 Indian Wells was the moment when the 19-year-old Spaniard convinced himself he was ready to be this idol. In the 2022 Indian Wells semifinal, Nadal overcame Alcaraz in three sets 6-2 1-6 6-3.
Two months later, Alcaraz clinched his first win over Nadal as he beat his idol the 2022 Madrid quarterfinal 6-2 1-6 6-3. When Alcaraz and Nadal met for the first time at 2021 Madrid, Nadal clinched a dominant 6-1 6-2 win.
"Before playing in Madrid he told me. He always thinks that he can win because of his tennis skills, whatever his opponent is. The Indian Wells match helped him see himself closer to Rafa after the beating Nadal gave him the previous year.
That gave him wings to do what he did in Madrid," Ferrero told Marca.
Ferrero: Alcaraz's isn't Nadal only competition for the French Open title
When asked if Alcaraz was Nadal's biggest rival for the 2023 French Open, Ferrero underlined there are several players who could win it all.
"I think there are more rivals. There's Djokovic, Tsitsipas, Zverev, who also plays very well on clay, Sinner," Ferrero noted. Alcaraz became a Grand Slam champion after beating Casper Ruud in the 2022 US Open final. Now, Alcaraz has set his eyes on adding more Grand Slam success to his name in 2023.
"After winning one, he thinks he can win the next one and it's on his mind. If you are number one or two, the goals have to be the biggest and these are the Masters 1000 and Grand Slam. We don't talk about it every day, but Roland Garros will be a target for him.
Wimbledon is also a target because he wants to play well on grass and I think so too. And when we get to the US Open he will have a new experience, which is to defend his title," Ferrero said.