How Carlos Alcaraz’ ‘miracle’ breakthrough is ‘sensational’ for Rafael Nadal
Alex Corretja hopes that the fierce competition Carlos Alcaraz provides will “motivate” Rafael Nadal to “go to the limit” and continue to “improve his game.”
After boasting one of tennis’ greatest ever players for the past two decades in 21-time Grand Slam legend Nadal, Spain looks set to enjoy even more success at the top level of the sport.
18-year-old Spanish wonderkid Alcaraz shot to stardom last year with his impressive breakthrough season.
Alcaraz has continued his rapid growth into the new season by becoming the youngest player to win an ATP 500 event at the Rio Open, as well as claiming his maiden Masters 1000 title at the Miami Open.
In winning the Miami Open, Alcaraz became the youngest ever Miami victor and third youngest Masters winner of all time, behind Nadal and Michael Chang.
Additionally, ahead of their meeting at the Indian Wells Masters two weeks ago, Nadal sung Alcaraz’ praises when he called his compatriot “unstoppable.”
In an interview with Eurosport, Alex Corretja said “I think it’s just perfect, it’s sensational for Rafa because he’s the biggest champion that we’ve ever had.
“Now he has a new kid that he knows what’s going on in his mind, and Rafa will need to go to the limit to pass him and beat him.
“This is perfect for him because it’ll lead Rafa to still improve his game. He’ll find ways to beat Alcaraz because he played against him in Indian Wells and suffered so much. He knows that he needs to play at his best to beat him.
“He’s much older, but he’s got much more experience. He’s the best ever, especially on clay, but facing Carlos will be a big challenge for him,” the Spanish pundit claimed.
“So I think it’s very good for him because he’s going to be motivated to practice and to improve things to see how he can hurt Alcaraz or the other opponents.
“Because Rafa is not jealous of Alcaraz. He knows that Alcaraz is great, but he still has so long to go in his career, and of course, one day hopefully Alcaraz will be close to Rafa.
“But, for the moment, he is only starting. So let’s go step-by-step, but this is huge for tennis, for Spanish tennis and overall for tennis itself. It is the best news we can have.”
Speaking on Alcaraz’ exponential rise, Corretja said “what he’s been doing is nearly a miracle because he has been improving so much. He was 300th in the world a few years ago, last year he was 100th and now he is 11th. So his jump is just huge, which is very surprising.”
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