'Rafa Was My Hero Growing Up': Alcaraz Wants To Follow Nadal's Footsteps In Creating History

'Rafa Was My Hero Growing Up': Alcaraz Wants To Follow Nadal's Footsteps In Creating History

by Nurein Ahmed

Carlos Alcaraz's long-term ambition is clear - to emulate his hero and a man he calls a legend of the game, Rafael Nadal.

The 20-year-old sensation is the current best player in men's tennis, having won two major titles at his age, becoming the youngest player born after 1990 to do so. After turning professional in 2018, Alcaraz's rise has been swift and meteoric, with many tennis fans drawing comparisons to Nadal's very own ascent during his teenage years.

While growing up in Murcia, Alcaraz idolized Nadal throughout his childhood, and he still is to this day. He is keen to emulate Nadal's success and is privileged to be talked about in the same conversation as the legendary 22-time Grand Slam champion.

Alcaraz wants to be the best version of himself without a doubt, but also simultaneously thrust his name as one of the best players in the sport. There is plentiful evidence to suggest he is on that trajectory. Nadal's storied career has most certainly acted as a blueprint that inspired Alcaraz.

"I want to be one of the best tennis players in history. Being in the same table as the legend Rafa. He was my hero when I was young, when I started playing tennis. I used to watch his matches, finals, and lifting the best trophies in the world. For me, Rafa was my hero growing up."

Alcaraz has previously stated his desire to play alongside Nadal in doubles at next summer's Olympic Games in Paris. 37-year-old Nadal is currently in the early stages of his rehab from hip surgery and expects to return to the court at the start of the 2024 season in what is likely to be his final season on the ATP tour.

20-year-old Alcaraz is tipped to take over not just as Spain's flagbearer at the Olympics, but men's tennis, for many years to come.


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