Alcaraz 'Hopes To Have' Federer-Nadal Rivalry With Sinner

Alcaraz 'Hopes To Have' Federer-Nadal Rivalry With Sinner

by Nurein Ahmed

Few rivalries transcend the sport quite like the one involving Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who played 40 times on the ATP Tour.

It was only fitting that on the 20th anniversary of their first career meeting at the Miami Open, Carlos Alcaraz intensified the talk of rekindling a rivalry with the potential to reach similar levels of eminence and glamor.

The legendary rivalry between the Spaniard and the Swiss kicked off in March 2004. An 18-year-old, fresh-faced Nadal, ranked World No. 34, defeated World No. 1 Roger Federer in straight sets in Key Biscayne.

Federer and Nadal played each other in 39 more matches, including 24 in finals. The final head-to-head score belonged to Nadal 24-16, but since their first meeting, there was a strong indication that their rivalry would define not just an era but the entire sport.

Fast-forward 20 years, and the budding rivalry between Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner is viewed on the same wavelength. One striking difference is that only two years separate the pair. By contrast, Federer was at least five years older than Nadal.

Recently, Alcaraz spoke in a column on of the two men he regards as his major influence. He calls Nadal his childhood idol and Federer as a role model in the way he wants to play the game.

"They have had a very beautiful and demanding rivalry at the same time. What I have learned from this rivalry is that you can never fall behind or give up or settle. You always have to improve, you always have to raise your level. It doesn't matter if you think that you are at your highest level, that you can't give more, you can always give a little more."

"That's what they have shown for so many years that they have been up there. Every time one of them lost to the other, they tried to be better to win the next time. And they have done it for a long time, which is something incredible and worthy of admiration."

Alcaraz hopes to have a rivalry like the one Federer and Nadal enjoyed, and he has singled out Sinner as his main challenger. Both men have won a Grand Slam and Masters title, and they are also ranked in the world's Top three.

"Hopefully, I can have a rivalry like the one they have had. Right now, the way people look at it, it could be with Jannik (Sinner)."


You may also like