Rafa Nadal: ‘Carlos Alcaraz can be one of the best players in the world. He has something special’
Rafael Nadal believes Carlos Alcaraz has “something special” and will be “a fantastic player in the near future” after beating his young compatriot at the Madrid Open.
World No. 2 Nadal also pointed to the attitude of Alcaraz – who idolises him – as one of the many “great qualities” he possesses.
The 34-year-old defeated the world No. 120 6-1, 6-2 on his 18th birthday in the second round of the ATP Masters 1000 event on Wednesday.
“When you make a salad and you are putting ingredients inside the salad, he has plenty of ingredients to become a great player,” Nadal said in a post-match interview.
“You’re going to have big opponents in front. Nothing is easy in this life. Being one of the best players in the world and fighting for the most important titles is something very difficult, but I really believe that he’s one of the guys [who] can do it.
“I’ve spoken a few times when I’ve seen him at tournaments. I see a lot of great qualities in him already.
“For example when playing a match like today, he didn’t complain a single time and had a great attitude despite losing the way he did. In Australia, he had a 15-day quarantine, and he accepted it without complaint.
“When it’s time to train, every time I’ve seen him practice he has a great attitude and good energy. This is what I see from him on a day-to-day basis and I can see how he treats the people around him. To me, this shows that he has great character.
“He’s a young and good guy. He already has a great level of tennis today, but I really believe that he is going to be a fantastic player in the near future.
“I wish him all the very best. [As a] Spanish player and [as a] Spanish fan, I really believe that we need somebody like him, and it’s great to have him here.
“When somebody at his age is able to do the things that he’s doing, it’s because you have something special. And at the same time, he’s humble enough to keep working. He’s passionate about the game.
“I really believe that he’s a complete player. He’s brave, he’s able to go to the net very often. Great forehand, great backhand. Of course, [he] needs to improve a little bit the serve, but he’s just 18 today, so he has plenty of time.”
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