Nadal Alcaraz Madrid 2021

‘He’s unstoppable!’ – Carlos Alcaraz receives highest praise from ‘idol’ Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal has sung the praises of Carlos Alcaraz, saying he reminds him of a younger version of himself and believes he has “all the ingredients” to have a wildly successful career.

18-year-old Spanish sensation Alcaraz will face 21-time Grand Slam legend and childhood idol Nadal for just the second time in his career at the Indian Wells Masters.

The pair will face each other after Alcaraz beat defending champion Cameron Norrie in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, whilst Nadal narrowly edged past Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (7-0), 5-7, 6-4.

Nadal still boasts a 100% winning record to the new season, going 19-0, after having won the Melbourne Summer Set, the Australian Open, and the Mexican Open.

Meanwhile, Alcaraz has enjoyed a fine start to his season reaching the third round of the Australian Open and winning the Rio Open.

He has also broken into the ATP top 20 after rising almost 400 rankings positions in two years and has proven himself to be a formidable opponent for the best players on the tour.

In his post-match press conference after overcoming Kyrgios, Nadal spoke highly of his next opponent.

When asked whether Alcaraz had asked his idol for any tips or advice, Nadal replied “no, he didn’t ask me anything, no.

“He has a great team next to him and I think he’s unstoppable in terms of his career! He has all the ingredients, he has the passion, he’s humble enough to work hard.

“He’s a good guy and reminds me a lot of things when I was [a] 17 or 18 years old kid.

“I think he has the passion, the talent and the physical component that it’s great. And I am super happy that [he’s] going to be a great rival, for now and for the next couple of months without a doubt

“But thinking and being selfish is great honestly to have such a star from my country because for the tennis lovers, we are going to keep enjoying an amazing player fighting for the most important titles for the next I don’t know how many years, a lot of years.

“That’s my feeling and from my point of view, that’s fantastic for the tennis lovers and he’s a countryman and he’s a great guy.

“I like him and I wish him all the very best, probably not after tomorrow if he plays against me, but in general,” Nadal joked.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.