Ex-Australian Open TD: Rafael Nadal's missing shadow over RG filled by Carlos Alcaraz

Alcaraz's presence massively helping to fill the void caused by Nadal's absence.

by Dzevad Mesic
Ex-Australian Open TD: Rafael Nadal's missing shadow over RG filled by Carlos Alcaraz

Former Australian Open tournament director Paul McNamee suggests Carlos Alcaraz is filling up Rafael Nadal's "missing shadow at the French Open." For the first time since 2004, the French Open took place without Nadal participating.

"Being here, hitting me is a strange feeling there is no ‘Rafa’ shadow over Roland Garros as expected… It’s seamlessly filled by Alcaraz, especially given the way he dismantled Shapovalov, who had two epic matches with Nadal in Rome (winning one).

What an extraordinary Spanish tag," McNamee tweeted.

Nadal fans rooting for Alcaraz at the French Open?

In his opener at Roland Garros, Alcaraz saw off Flavio Cobolli 6-1 6-4 6-2.

Alcaraz received very strong support in his opener at the French Open, which led to some pointing out that Nadal's fans have turned to the 20-year-old in the absence of the record 14-time French Open champion. After beating Cobolli, Alcaraz was asked how he felt about Nadal's fans turning to him 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. I felt the love, you know, and it was great to feel that," Alcaraz said. When Nadal announced his French Open withdrawal and plans to retire in 2024, Alcaraz was one of the first players to react and wish the 37-year-old good health and all the best.

In Paris, Alcaraz told Nadal he would absolutely love to play mixed doubles with him at the 2024 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. Meanwhile, Nadal underwent psoas surgery on Friday. It remains to be seen how long will Nadal's recovery take.

Australian Open Rafael Nadal Carlos Alcaraz