Carlos Alcaraz has taken the tennis world by storm with his exceptional maturity and tenacity on the court. The Spaniard came out all guns blazing against the defending champion Hubert Hurkacz and got the better of him in an intense clash. The 18-year-old defeated the Pole 7-6(5), 7-6(2) to progress to the finals of the 2022 Miami Masters.
Alcaraz has carried all the good form from the Indian Wells where also he reached the semifinals before losing to his idol, Rafael Nadal. But this time he is looking like the favourite to lift the Miami Open as he takes on Norway’s Casper Ruud, who has also had a great run to the finals. Therefore the youngster from Murcia becomes the youngest player ever to reach the last four at the Sunshine Double.
His impressive performance in the past has forced people to draw similarities with Spanish legend Rafael Nadal. It is mostly because he is Spanish and has that same aggression and also favours the clay-court just like Rafa. But Alcaraz till now has done enough to come out of Nadal’s shadow and write his own folklore.
‘In terms of gameplay, I look a little more like Federer’: Carlos Alcaraz
However, despite all the similarities with Nadal, the youngster shared how he feels he has a similar playing style to that of Roger Federer. “I started playing when I was four and I watched the best from an early age. Rafa, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. When I started playing, I always watched their games. I’ve always had an idol who is Rafa. During all these years I have followed him a lot. Then as I grow up, in terms of playing style, I look a little more like Federer”, explained the teenager.
But one cannot explain the uncanny resemblance that the teen sensational has with Nadal. He recently became the youngest player to reach the semifinals of the Sunshine Double even beating his idol to that feat. Nadal was already 19-year-old when he achieved this feat, Alcaraz has beaten the Mallorcan by one year.
However, Alcaraz needs to understand that he is still;l compared with Nadal only because of his resemblance and similarities in their on-court movements. In terms of statistics, Nadal is a different beast as he won 11 calendar titles in the tremendous 2005 season when he was only 19-year-old. He had one of the best ever clay court seasons as he dominated much experienced opponents without breaking much sweat.
But Nadal was of a very similar age when he reached his first ATP 1000 Masters semifinals. Alcaraz did that at the Indian Wells whereas Nadal reached his first 1000 Masters semifinals and also went one notched high to the final but lost to Roger Federer despite leading the game comprehensively.
However, Alcaraz reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinals earlier than his idol as he became the youngest ever Grand Slam quarterfinalist ever since Michael Chang at Roland Garros in 1990. Now if he plays to his potential he will beat Nadal to the first ATP 1000 Masters title.
Carlos Alcaraz will take on Casper Ruud in the Miami Open final showdown
Alcaraz will be going up against Casper Ruud in the finals of the Miami Open and the Spaniard will have a lot of support from the crowd and also from fans all around the world. However, the 18-year-old should remain focused and should not take extra pressure. The Spaniard on his route to the finals have beaten some top players like Marton Fucsovics, Marin Cilic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Miomir Kecmanovic and finally defeated Hubert Hurkacz in the semifinals.
It is always easy to compare a youngster to a 21-time Grand Slam winner due to some similarities in their style. But it can soon act as a burden for the teen sensation when the chips are down. Nadal has created a legacy of his own something that won’t be eclipsed overnight. But whatever Alcaraz has shown at this age, the youngster from Murcia is surely here to stay and win several accolades.