Roberto Bautista Agut on why it is unfair to call anyone 'Rafael Nadal's replacement'


Roberto Bautista Agut on why it is unfair to call anyone 'Rafael Nadal's replacement'
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Roberto Bautista Agut acknowledges Carlos Alcaraz is going to have a big career but thinks saying that Alcaraz or anyone else can replace "unmatched" Rafael Nadal is not fair. 

Just like Nadal, Alcaraz started his career in a very impressive way as the 20-year-old is already a two-time Grand Slam champion and has been ranked at No. 1. Alcaraz may already have two Grand Slams in his pocket but he is still 20 Slams away from matching Nadal's 22 Major wins. 

Since Nadal basically missed the entire 2023 season due to an injury, the focus was primarily on Alcaraz in Spain. Nadal is likely retiring in 2024 but some insist Spanish tennis has no reason to worry since Alcaraz is "the best possible replacement" for the 22-time Grand Slam champion.

Bautista Agut on if Alcaraz is 'the best possible replacement' for Nadal

"I think that talking about replacing Rafa is not fair either. Rafa is going to have an unmatched, brutal career, he is a special player... We should not make comparisons with the 'Big Three,'" Bautista Agut told Marca.

"It is clear that Carlos is also one of the chosen ones, that he has many qualities and I hope he has a career as long-lasting and successful as theirs. He has powers, but then it has to be done. Races have to be managed well, work well and be well surrounded to do what Rafa, Federer and Djokovic have done."

Also, Bautista Agut was asked if Novak Djokovic's 2023 success would serve as an extra motivation for Nadal. 

"I think that Rafa, when he considers competing, when he considers playing, I don't think he has Novak in his mind. He thinks about himself and about being well. He has to go little by little. The beginning of the season is going to be an important challenge for him and it will put him in a situation where he is," Bautista Agut said. 

Roberto Bautista Agut Rafael Nadal