Nadal Alcaraz Madrid 2021

Rafael Nadal ‘going to return to his top level,’ says Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz believes compatriot Rafael Nadal will ‘return to his top level’ and achieve big things in 2024.

Nadal is in Australia ready to make his long-awaited comeback after almost a year out with a hip injury.

He himself has attempted to manage expectations, saying he does not know what he will be capable of after such a long time away from the court, and he feels it is ‘impossible’ for him to even thing about winning tournaments right now.

However, he has also been practicing with some of the top players in tennis and seriously impressing them, so Alcaraz is expecting big things.

“I think he’s ready,” Alcaraz said. “I saw some videos of him practicing. He looks 100%.

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“I hear from other players that they practiced with Rafa in these past weeks and they said that he’s going to return to his good level. His top level.

“I think he’s ready for great things this year as well.”

Is Carlos Alcaraz the ‘new Rafael Nadal?’

Ever since Carlos Alcaraz started making waves in junior tennis, he has been compared to Rafael Nadal due to sharing a nationality.

Many have said, reasonably, that is unfair on Alcaraz as the two Spaniards have very different games and he deserves to be able to forge his own path free of Nadal’s legacy.

Roberto Bautista Agut has come at it from a different angle, though, saying it is actually unfair to Nadal as well.

“I think that talking about replacing Rafa is not fair either,” he told Marca. “Rafa is going to have an unmatched career, he is a special player.

“We should not make comparisons with the ‘Big Three’. It is clear that Carlos is also one of the chosen ones, that he has many qualities and I hope he has a career as long-lasting and successful as theirs.

“He has weapons, but then it has to be done.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.