Alcaraz Admits To 'Nerves' When Meeting Tennis Idol Nadal

Alcaraz Admits To 'Nerves' When Meeting Tennis Idol Nadal

by Alex Waite

Carlos Alcaraz may be seen as the natural successor to Spanish great Rafael Nadal, but the 20-year-old starlet said he still cannot shake the nerves whenever he meets his compatriot.

Alcaraz's rise as a young prodigy continued at full speed in 2023 after he won his second career Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, beating world number one Novak Djokovic in an epic five-set final.

The 20-year-old struggled slightly in the second half of the 2023 campaign but is still feeling confident heading into the upcoming Australian Open.

The youngster's progression has coincided with his idol, Rafael Nadal, struggling in the latter stages of his career as the 22-time Grand Slam winner, who has been set back by injuries and surgeries.

However, even though Alcaraz may be overtaking his tennis hero regarding expectation, the youngster explained during the Australian Open interview that he still gets nervous whenever he encounters Rafa.

"He [Rafael Nadal] makes me nervous, obviously. I mean, I've met him a lot of times right now but I still have nerves when I am speaking with him. Yeah ofcourse, he is my idol, he is my role model since I started playing tennis. So, I think the nerves will appear it's something that's impossible to pull out."

Because Nadal was ruled out for the majority of the 2023 campaign, he did not encounter Alcaraz on the court. As a result, the Spanish competitors have only faced off three times, with Nadal winning twice in previous meetings.

The last time the pair met was at the 2022 Indian Wells tournament, where Nadal beat Alcaraz in the semi-final. Speaking after that result, the 37-year-old explained some of the similarities between himself and Alcaraz and backed his fellow Spanish star to reach the top.

"The energy. The speed. The passion, determination he has to become a great champion. Humble enough to work hard. I don't have any doubts that he will be great. He is already, by the way."


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