The rapid rise of Carlos Alcaraz over the past two seasons has fueled comparisons with more illustrious compatriot Rafael Nadal. At 17, the young Spaniard is at number 133 in the ATP ranking under the guidance of Juan Carlos Ferrero, as well as having this year the most prestigious victory of his career against former Top 10 David Goffin in Adelaide .
Many are wondering if he will be able to retrace the exploits of Rafa, capable of winning very important titles since he took his very first steps in the major circuit. The start of 2021 didn't smile at the 20-time Grand Slam champion, struggling with an annoying back problem that allowed him to play only the Australian Open.
After giving up the first Masters 1000 of the season in Miami, the Majorcan phenomenon should make his return to the field in Monte Carlo in the first big event on clay. His mind is already focused on Roland Garros, hoping for an improvement in the health framework in Paris.
During a recent interview with Marca, Alcaraz revealed that he intends to focus solely on developing him as a player.
Carlos Alcaraz trained with Rafael Nadal during the Australian Open 2021
"I don't pay any attention to people who have high expectations of me, who say that I'm going to be the next Rafael Nadal," Carlos Alcaraz said.
"I try to stay out of that kind of comment. I focus on myself, my work, and my team." Carlos Alcaraz got the opportunity to train with Rafael Nadal ahead of this year’s Australian Open. Recalling that moment, Alcaraz revealed that training with Nadal was extra special because the Mallorcan also happens to be his idol.
"All players are good at training, but it is always more special to do it with your idol, which in my case is Rafa (Nadal)," Alcaraz said. "It was an unforgettable, unique experience that I will always keep."
When asked if he would like to trade hits with Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz replied in the affirmative. "I miss him (Novak Djokovic) and many more that I am also excited to play with," Alcaraz said. In the current season, Alcaraz has competed at the Australian Open and reached the main draw of a Grand Slam event for the first time in his career.
He won his opening-round match before he lost in the second round. Carlos is coached by former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero. On the other hand, Rafa began his season at the ATP Cup but failed to play a single match due to a minor back injury.
However, he competed at the Australian Open in the following week where he won the initial matches without much trouble.