Carlos Alcaraz denies rivalry with Rafael Nadal, insists that the World No.2 isn’t his “enemy”
Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz
Although Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal are both close to sealing the year-end No.1 spot for 2022, with all to play for at the Paris Masters and the ATP Finals in Turin. However, the younger prodigy, Alcaraz thinks his compatriot Nadal, like all other players on the tour, is not an enemy but rather just a colleague for him.
Alcaraz, who won his maiden Grand Slam at the 2022 US Open, is the youngest-ever World No.1 in history while Nadal has the highest tally of men’s singles major titles in history, with 22 total championship wins.
“It’s true, Rafa is fighting for the No. 1. Some players have the same goal – to be No. 1, so I need to do my best…outside the court we [Rafa and I] are colleagues, at least it’s the way I see it,” Alcaraz recently said.
“Rafa is not my enemy. I say hello, I don’t see that competition. With the rest of the players, it’s the same. Beyond that relationship I’ll try to keep being No. 1,” he added.
Carlos Alcaraz says that he hardly had time to think about his goals after unexpectedly becoming World No.1
After winning his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2022 US Open and becoming the youngest-ever World No.1, 19-year-old Alcaraz was looking out-of-touch at the Davis Cup competition and then lost rather tamely to former top ten player David Goffin at Nur-Sultan.
“I had several tournaments after the US Open so I hardly had time to take advantage of the world number 1 spot or my first Grand Slam. Now I have new goals for the end of the season, with new tournaments, so I have to be ready for the next challenges,” Alcaraz said at the end of the match.
Carlos Alcaraz’ coach Juan Carlos Ferrero opens up about his protege not deserving World No.1 spot with Novak Djokovic banned from US Open and 2022 Wimbledon ranking points not counting
With only 6730 points, Alcaraz’s tally at the top of the ATP rankings is one of the lowest, drawing flak for him. With 21-time major winner Novak Djokovic also absent this year for quite some time, the teen’s feat is underappreciated.
“It’s normal that some people think that Carlos doesn’t deserve this place because it’s true that Djokovic didn’t play two Grand Slams and could have won more, or not, in fact we’ll never know. But at the end of the day, I think this place is deserved especially if you win almost every game you play during the year.“
“I think it’s been a very successful year. You have to respect all opinions, but I think it’s deserved,” said Juan Carlos Ferrero, Alcaraz’s coach, speaking with Puntodebreak defending his ward.
Djokovic was disallowed from playing at the 2022 Australian Open due to his decision to remain unvaccinated against Covid-19. Despite entering the country and even having a practice session at the Melbourne Park, Djokovic was deported on the eve of his first-round match.
Then, at Wimbledon this year, points were withdrawn from the tournament by the ATP as a reprimand for the All England and Lawn Tennis Club’s decision to disallow Russians and Belarusians from competing due to the Ukraine conflict.
Djokovic faced a similar ban from entering the USA which led to the Clay season being his proper start to the season. Interestingly, the Serb met Alcaraz for the first time at the 2022 Madrid Masters in the semi-finals and the local boy won the match in 3-sets to reach the final and eventually even the title.