Alcaraz shares the emotion of watching his idol Nadal play at Roland Garros

The Spaniard witnessed the match between his legendary countryman and the German Alexander Zverev

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Alcaraz shares the emotion of watching his idol Nadal play at Roland Garros
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Everyone - his colleagues, his friends, his fans - looked for a place to watch the 1st round match of the Roland Garros between Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev. Many felt that this might be one of the last times to see the legendary Spaniard in action on the Philippe Chatrier. At the end of the match, won in straight sets by the German, Rafa left a small door open for his come back again next year, but today, it seems really difficult that Nadal can really come back next year. As much as we all dream to see him at the French Open at least one (another) last time. The many colleagues who saw his match against Zverev will also have thought so: among them his rival of a thousand battles Novak Djokovic, his fan Iga Swiatek and his heir Carlos Alcaraz.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

Carlitos has never hidden the fact that he grew up with the legend of the 22-time Slam champion and, this year, he was lucky enough to watch Rafa for the first time up close at Roland Garros. In the press conference after the second round victory against De Jong, Carlitos shared the sensations felt by the Court Philippe-Chatrier grandstand in seeing his idol play on the legendary court where he wrote history.

"He said that he hopes it wasn't his last match here at Roland Garros and that he will try to come back. I think this is one of the reasons why they didn't pay him any special homage; he said it himself. Clearly it was a very nice match to watch, at least as a tennis fan. I had never been lucky enough to see him live here, I think it was the first Rafa match that I saw first hand in Paris. The truth is that I took advantage of my opportunity, it was an experience that I had to live. Even though he lost to Zverev, I think I saw a good match,” told Alcaraz.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason
 

Djokovic, who saw part of Nadal's match, joined the chorus of praise towards the Spanish champion.

"I saw the match between Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev. Both are great players. Rafa, after the match, said that he doesn't know if it was his last match in Paris. But all the history he created here has never been seen and perhaps will never be seen again in our sport in the future. Congratulations to him for an incredible career," said Nole.

Alcaraz Roland Garros Alexander Zverev
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