Carlos Alcaraz admitted he was unsure whether it was Rafael Nadal fans that supported him loudly during his French Open first-round match but noted it was great to be received well. On Monday, Alcaraz kicked off his French Open campaign with a 6-0 6-2 7-5 win over Flavio Cobolli.
Alcaraz received very strong support, which led to some claiming that Nadal fans turned to the 20-year-old Spaniard in the absence of the record 14-time French Open champion. “I feel the love from the people. You know, I don't know if they are the Rafael Nadal fans or not, but I felt the energy from the crowd.
I felt the love, you know, and it was great to feel that," Alcaraz said, per The Tennis Letter.
Carlos Alcaraz on crowd support from Nadal fans at Roland Garros: “I feel the love from the people. You know, I don't know if they are the Rafael Nadal fans or not, but I felt the energy from the crowd.
Alcaraz made a proposal to Nadal
In 2024, Nadal is planning to retire from pro tennis and his goal is to compete at the 2024 French Open and Paris Olympics.
Before the start of the French Open, Alcaraz told Nadal he was ready to play doubles with him at the Paris Olympics. "It could be a dream playing doubles with him in the Olympics. So of course let's see. Let's see how he's doing and how he's going in this year.
Hopefully, he's going great," Alcaraz said. Nadal has been out since January and he wants his retirement to come on a tennis court and not in a press room. “What maintains things alive first is (having), enough force to say that I didn’t deserve to finish like that.
I had enough force and satisfaction during my career to make things happen by myself, always trying to reach high goals. Sometimes I could make it, sometimes not. To be back, competing at the highest professional level would be a satisfaction to finish the way I intend to.
I’m aware that it’s not (like this at) the moment. But I’m also aware on the fact that it’s worth a last effort, it’s my philosophy, I keep it and I will fight for it. If the body responds, I will do things worth a lot of efforts," Nadal said. It remains to be seen if Alcaraz can win the French Open in the Nadal absence.
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