'Good Thing I Won't Face Him Many Times': Nadal After Alcaraz Loss

'Good Thing I Won't Face Him Many Times': Nadal After Alcaraz Loss

by Nurein Ahmed

Rafael Nadal knows an exceptional talent when he spots one, and it is fair to say he is impressed by Carlos Alcaraz's meteoric rise on the ATP Tour.

Nadal is considered the greatest Spanish tennis player of all time and one of the best players in the history of the sport. With 22 Grand Slams to his name and more than 30 Masters 1000 trophies, he has won a lot.

But he is nearing the end of his illustrious tennis career, which looks like it will happen at some point this season. Nadal is holding onto that decision and will reveal it just before the French Open.

His former coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, was confident his nephew would play beyond 2024 should his body cooperate. Nadal has been battling a hip injury since the start of 2023, which kept him out of the game for a year.

When he returned at January's Brisbane International, he tore another hip muscle, which sent him on the treatment shelf for a couple of months, missing important events like the Australian Open and the Qatar Open.

But he was back in competition during a recent exhibition match dubbed the "Netflix Slam," which saw him lock horns with Carlos Alcaraz in a one-off match in Las Vegas. Although Nadal came up short in the contest (losing in a third-set super tie-break), his level was encouraging despite reservations about it.

And after the match, Nadal had some nice words about the youngster who took the tennis world by storm in the past couple of seasons. Alcaraz became the youngest World No. 1 at 19 in 2022 and has lifted two Grand Slams before his 21st birthday.

The 37-year-old acknowledged that playing against Alcaraz is a "big challenge" and joked that he is glad they won't be crossing paths on tour many times but will enjoy taking a back seat and watching him in action.

"First of all, playing him is a big challenge. It’s completely different generations.. in Spain, we should be very very happy about having someone like Carlos (Alcaraz)."

"He’s an amazing player. Only 20 years old and already won 2 slams. A couple of very important tournaments. The good thing is as a player, I won’t face him many times. As a fan, I’ll keep enjoying him for a long time."


You may also like