WATCH: “My hero was Rafael Nadal it’s still him,” Carlos Alcaraz turns fanboy for Rafael Nadal as he recalls his first meeting with the King of Clay
Alcaraz attested that Rafa has always been his hero.
Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal (Credits: ET Edge Insights/SI)
World No.2 Carlos Alcaraz has always been voal about his love for the Spanish legend Rafael Nadal. In a recent video, the 20-year-old tennis professional has called the ‘King of Clay’ his idol, while also giving fans a peek at his first meeting with the 22-time Grand Slam champion.
The 2023 Wimbledon champion hailed Nadal as his hero and role model from ever since he started watching and following the sport. Talking about the influence the 14 time French Open champion has had on, Alcaraz stated in the video posted by the LTA social,
My hero was Rafael Nadal, and it’s still Rafael Nadal.. Since I started playing tennis, I look up to Rafa every time that I watch his matches. Of course, I look up to Federer. But you know, it has been always, always Rafa.
In the video, the World No.2 also talked about how avid a follower he was of the sport and he has witnessed almost all of the big achievements of his idol. Speaking about the time where he experienced his first encounter with the Roland Garros master, he added, “
The first time I met him, I was 12 years old. He was in the Mutua Madrid Open. He was in the semifinal or something, something like that in the big one, and yeah, I took a photo and this is the first that I was with him.
The two have faced each other thrice on tour as of now, with Nadal leading the clash with a 2-1 lead over the youngster. The Spanish legend will also play his last season on tour in the upcoming 2024 season, after skipping almost all the tournaments this year due to injury concerns.
Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz are keen to play doubles at the Tokyo Olympics
With two Olympic medals to his name, the 22 time Grand Slam champion has time and again expressed his active desire of sharing the court with the young and talented Carlos Alcaraz to represent their country in the Paris Olympics next year. The Spaniard is excited to play doubles with the 20 year old as he looks forward to be his motivator more than a partner.
If I’m in good shape and he’s up for it, I’d be thrilled.Nadal via AS.com
This however is not a one-sided ambition as the reigning Wimbledon champion has also reciprocated the same feelings of excitement of sharing the court with his childhood hero. He also mentioned how it will be a dream come true moment for him and will surely look forward to play with the tennis legend in what might be his farewell season on tour.
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