Carlos Alcaraz's performances - first in the Futures circuit and then in the Challengers - have prompted numerous insiders to consider him one of the greatest prospects of the men's tour. The 17-year-old Spaniard also qualified for the main draw of the Australian Open, becoming the first player born in 2003 to succeed in this feat.
His nationality led to an immediate (and hasty) comparison with his illustrious compatriot Rafael Nadal, although his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero has repeatedly reiterated how Alcaraz's style of play is more similar to that of Roger Federer.
Carlos had the chance to train with the Basel legend at Wimbledon in 2019, when his name was fairly unknown among fans. In a long interview granted to the ITF website, the world's number 141 expressed his admiration for Nadal.
Alcaraz also confided that in 2021 he is aiming to compete in Roland Garros and reach the Top 50 by the end of the year.
Alcaraz on his passion for Rafael Nadal
"Rafael Nadal is my idol," Carlos Alcaraz said. "His hunger, his attitude.
It doesn't matter if he plays a first match or a final, his level of concentration is the same. He wants to win every match. His mentality is an example for anyone, a tennis player or any person," he added. "He motivates everyone because he never surrenders.
Everyone wants to be the best, no matter if you're an athlete, a football player, a doctor, a journalist everyone has an objective in life." Apart from tennis, a lot has been going on ahead of the Australian Open 2021.
The major talk is regarding the quarantine conditions of the bubble. From comments over preferential treatment for elite players to Novak Djokovic’s list of requests, the situation is now seeing Rafael Nadal enter the mix.
Before players arrived in the country, Tennis Australia promised them a 5-hour training benefit during the two-week quarantine. But after a few passengers tested positive for the coronavirus, players from those planes lost the benefit.
To help those 72 players facing a hard 14-day lockdown, the Serbian World No. 1 decided to take action. Novak Djokovic sent a list of suggestions to Tennis Australia for the sole benefit of the unfortunate batch. Not only did the Serbian’s demands get rejected, but he also received heavy criticism in return.
His arch-rival, Rafael Nadal, has now spoken for the first time on the given matter. “Some need to make public all these things they do for others,” Rafa said. “Some of us do it in a more private way without having to publicise everything”.