Nadal Alcaraz Madrid 2021

Rafael Nadal’s absence ‘has massive impact’ on Carlos Alcaraz claims former Roland Garros finalist

Rafael Nadal announced that he would be missing Roland Garros for the first time since 2004 and a two-time finalist at the event, Alex Corretja, has spoken about the ‘massive impact’ this has on the ATP Tour, speaking more specifically about Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic.

Nadal spoke in a press conference at his academy yesterday, revealing that he would miss his most dominant event and be out for months before his potential ‘last year’ in 2024.

Corretja spoke about how this opens the field up for Roland Garros, which Nadal has won 14 times, “It has a massive impact.”

The former No.2 continued, “Whatever tournament you enter, if Nadal is not there then there is a hole in the draw where you are missing someone. But if it’s Roland Garros, it’s not a hole, it’s a whole world missing there!”

“It is going to start making other players believe that they can win Roland Garros – more than two hours ago [before Nadal’s announcement]. That is, for sure, something that the players feel.”

Carlos Alcaraz will be the top seed going into Roland Garros, despite winning only one match in Rome, and Corretja spoke of the attention he will receive being the top Spaniard.

“It will definitely have an impact on Alcaraz, for sure,” said Corretja. “All eyes will be on him and on Novak and all the other potential favourites but being Spanish and knowing that Rafa is not going to be there, all the attention is going to be on him on the men’s side.”

“Knowing Alcaraz, he will be okay to deal with that, I’m sure. He loves that, which is very amazing and very impressive, but he will definitely need to cope with all the attention and everyone asking him about being the favourite and the next Spanish winner, etc.”

The 49-year-old added, “His whole team need to work with Carlos even more, just taking all the pressure off him. Losing in Rome was the best thing that could have happened to him because he will have lost a bit of expectation and relaxed a little bit.”

Alcaraz in-fact took to social media to wish Nadal well after his announcement, “Good luck Rafael! Very painful and sad for everyone that you can’t be at Roland Garros or play more this year, but I hope that 2024 will be a great season for you and that you can say goodbye like the great champion you are!”

Rafael Nadal not winning Roland Garros 

Nadal has won the Paris major a record amount of times, and has lost only 3 of his 115 matches at the event.

With the 22-time Grand Slam champion giving a walkover to Marcel Granollers in 2016, after picking up a left wrist injury, there are four years that Nadal has not lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires since his first back in 2005.

Here are those years:

2009 – Roger Federer beat Robin Soderling, 6-1 7-6(1) 6-4

2015 – Stan Wawrinka beat Novak Djokovic, 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4

2016 – Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray, 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-4

2017 – Novak Djokovic beat Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6(6)-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4

 Join >> Receive $700/£600 of tennis gear from the Tennishead CLUB

 Social >> FacebookTwitter & YouTube

 Read >> World’s best tennis magazine

 Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted partner 

Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.