'My Hero Was And Still Is Nadal': Alcaraz Ahead Of Potential Meeting In 2024

'My Hero Was And Still Is Nadal': Alcaraz Ahead Of Potential Meeting In 2024

by Nurein Ahmed

Carlos Alcaraz has enormous respect for Rafael Nadal - and you would expect nothing less coming from a player who has always been his idol.

As the news of Nadal's comeback in Brisbane began streaming rapidly, tennis purists were already drawing all viable scenarios on how Nadal and Alcaraz might get to share the stage again.

The confrontation between the current and future flag bearer of Spanish men's tennis has only happened three times on the ATP Tour.

They played two classics in 2022, one in Indian Wells and the other on home soil at the Madrid Open. Alcaraz has always endeared himself with grace and humility each time he crossed paths with Nadal - a man he has always looked up to while growing up and has continued to serve as a yardstick in what he does.

Alcaraz still only 20 has been compared to many tennis greats including Nadal. While he is honored to be talked about in the same breath, he would undoubtedly be proud to have half the career that Nadal has so immaculately enjoyed.

The two-time major champion picked Nadal ahead of Swiss legend Roger Federer as his hero and recalled vividly his first encounter with his countryman while competing at the under-12 tournament in Madrid.

"My hero was Rafael Nadal and still is Rafael Nadal. Since I started playing tennis, I look up to Rafa, every time that I watch his matches. Of course, I look up to Roger Federer. But you know, it has always been Rafa."

"I've always watched tennis, you know, the big things he has achieved. Big matches he has played. Yeah, the first time I met him, I was 12 years old. It was in Mutua Madrid Open, I was playing the under 12 and he was playing a semifinal or something like that in the big one. And yeah, I took a photo with him and this was the first time that I met him."


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