Boy wonder Carlos Alcaraz is making his way up the Olympus of world tennis by leaps and bounds. The talented pupil of Juan Carlos Ferrero is fighting among the best players on the circuit, who now have to face a new and impressive rival who, despite his young age, is not afraid of them. Alcaraz’s impressive results in the first part of 2022 have taken him to ninth place in the ATP rankings, something that very few 18-year-old tennis players in history have achieved (he will turn 19 on May 5). A few days after his triumph in Barcelona, the Spaniard gave a long interview to the talk show El Hormiguero in which he revealed a curious anecdote that he experienced just before his match against Alex De Miñaur, before what would be one of the most busy throughout his sports career and that would end up being the day of his coronation at the Conde de Godó 2022. He also talked about how to deal with growing fame, the work of Juan Carlos Ferrero and the frequent comparisons with Rafael Nadal, his idol forever. “Little by little I am taking it more normally,” Alcaraz said of the comparisons with Rafael Nadal. “I have always said that if you are compared to Rafa it is because you are doing things well. Rafa, after all, is one of the best in history and being compared to him is good, up to a certain point. On the other hand , if they compare you with him, it is because they throw stones at your backpack, but if they throw stones at me, I throw stones at them. But yeah, I’m getting better and better. He does pretty well for me [in managing fame]. I tell everyone that I still don’t consider myself famous. When people start to recognize me, it is something that I take as naturally as possible and I enjoy it, it is a pleasure for me that people know you.”
Nadal will make his return at the Madrid Open
Former doubles World No. 1 Mark Knowles recently hailed Rafael Nadal’s competitive spirit, saying he’s never seen a better fighter than the Spaniard in the history of the sport. “I mean have you ever seen a better competitor in any sport?” Knowles said. “I mean, I’ve gone on record with a lot of people and I respect every single athlete, I mean I am a sports fanatic, the Jordans, the Woods, the Gretzkys, there is no greater competitor in my eyes than Rafael Nadal. And the reason I say that is, you break down tennis, we’ve all played matches, whether it be 40-0, whether it be 4-0, where your mindset is ‘I’m not going to give a hundred per cent. I’ve been around the game for a long time,” Knowles said. “I’ve played, watched and commentated Rafael Nadal. I’ve never seen him not give a hundred per cent on a point, I never have. If someone has, please send me a clip of it because I haven’t.