Carlos Alcaraz comes from El Palmar, Spain which may be around 400 kms from the island of Mallorca. He may be 20 and in the prime of his tennis career. But, all these contrasts with Rafael Nadal have not ceased comparisons to be tossed about between the two.
From being called Spain’s stalwarts of tennis to sharing similar outfits at grand slam events, Spanish fans have proudly placed the two players under the same umbrella. Carlos Alcaraz, in the midst of a sabbatical post his US Open exit, is focused on gearing up for his next tennis event amidst strong competition from fellow tennis players and riveting rivalries with cohorts.
Carlos Alcaraz opens up about annoyance over Rafael Nadal comparisons
A major reason Carlos Alcaraz is often compared with Rafael Nadal, other than being world no.1s from the same country, is that the 20-year-old played in the Rafael Nadal academy.
Nevertheless, the 2021 US Open champion seemed irate when talking about such comparsions.
“It’s not annoying, but I would say the comparison with Rafa is annoying.”, Alcaraz said in a Q&A session with audience.
Rafael Nadal is 37 years old and has won 22 grand slam titles over a two-decade long career. He is now in the twilight years of his career, amid injury-crisis’ and talks of retirement. Carlos Alcaraz is still in the nascent stages of his budding career and will look to emulate and revere Nadal than be compared with him.
Carlos Alcaraz has had a stellar 2023 season on the back of his US Open title run. He went on to win numerous ATP Majors titles and achieved his biggest success with the 2023 Wimbledon crown. His rivalry with Novak Djokovic has amazed fans all over the world with their display of raw intensity, sustained aggression and attacking stroke play.
His most recent run was at the 2023 US Open, where he lost to Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals.
Alcaraz gears up for rapid return to pursue Novak Djokovic’s ranking
Novak Djokovic had usurped Alcaraz’s no.1 ranking due to the Spaniard having to defend all 2000 of his US Open title defense points. In a reverse of this situation, Carlos Alcaraz now has the chance to regain his ranking from Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic has over 3000 points to defend from his epic run at the end of 2022. Alcaraz had sat out of most of the major tournaments in the year-end due to injury.
This means that Alcaraz, who is scheduled to play the China Open, can realistically overtake his rival. Novak Djokovic has dropped out of that event, which means Alcaraz has around 1000 points to gain.
Djokovic will lose 500 points due to having dropped out of the Astana Open, which he won last year. But he still has 600 points from the Paris Masters and 1,500 points from the Nitto ATP Finals win on his record.
He will get a chance to defend those points, but Alcaraz has a possible shot at reclaiming his world no.1 ranking, amidst an expected clash between the two at the ATP Finals.
“The season has a lot of tournaments until the year is over,” said Alcaraz. “I’ll try to recover (No 1) ranking before the year ends.”
Is Carlos Alcaraz too young in his career to be compared with Rafael Nadal? And will the two-time grand slam champion reclaim his world no.1 ranking from Novak Djokovic? Let us know in the comments section below.