Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz were the two main protagonists of this exciting start to the season. The Manacor phenomenon returned to the field after the problem in his left foot and won the tournaments in Melbourne and Acapulco and, above all, the Australian Open.
The success achieved in the first Grand Slam of the year allowed him to reach 21 Majors and overtake Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in this special ranking. The stress fracture in his ribs then prevented Nadal from competing to his full potential at Indian Wells.
The Majorcan is expected to return to the field in Madrid to prepare for the attack on the 22nd Grand Slam in Paris. Alcaraz, for his part, became the youngest player in history to win an ATP 500 tournament in Rio de Janeiro and the third to lift the trophy of a Masters 1000 in Miami.
The 18-year-old from Murcia is growing game after game and is now only 29 points from the top ten that already belongs to him.
Alcaraz and the comparison with Nadal: "I try not to get distracted"
Alcaraz has often been compared to Rafael Nadal for his mentality and attitude on the pitch.
In Spain he is considered to all intents and purposes the worthy heir of Nadal, but this does not seem to affect him. "On social media, for a couple of years, it's all a comparison. I try not to get too distracted: I think about myself, about my tennis, about my improvements," said Alcaraz in an exclusive interview with Corriere della Sera.
"I recognize him, as I do not deny that Rafa's advice and compliments are always pleasing. But I'm from Murcia, he's from Mallorca, he's left-handed and I'm not, as a child I was anything but a warrior: I was skinny, little guy, not very powerful.
The opposite of Nadal?" Juan Carlos Ferrero, historic coach of Alcaraz, had already expressed his opinion on the constant comparisons between his pupil and Nadal at the sports program El Larguero. "It is very nice to be compared to Rafa.
I like the idea that the Spaniards think of Carlos as the new hope. We are happy with the comparisons, but there is only one of Rafa; as well as Carlos. Right now Rafa has written history; while Carlos is starting now," he said about his player.